Study Abroad and Exchanges



POL1131 : Studying Political Economy: Ideas, Theories and Skills

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aims of the module are twofold:

1. To introduce students to the study of Political Economy
2. To highlight and develop the skills that students require for effective study and learning

Related to these aims, the module seeks to:

1. Examine and discuss key thinkers, theories and ideas in political economy
2. Develop students' knowledge and understanding of fundamental questions and arguments in political economy
3. Make students aware of the skills that are required for effective study and provide opportunities for further skills development
4. Provide students with a foundation in knowledge and skills from which they can go on to take further modules in Politics, Economics and Political Economy

Outline Of Syllabus

Module outline:

The module introduces students to the study of political economy as it examines the life, ideas and legacy of Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes. The module also discusses more contemporary views on neoliberalism, globalization and the on-going global economic crisis. In addition, the module is focused on developing key study skills, including effective note taking, essay writing and delivering presentations.

Outline of syllabus:

1. What is political economy? An introduction to POL 1031 (Time management)
2. State, market and other key ideas (Finding literature)
3. Adam Smith and the ‘invisible hand’ (Reading and note taking)
4. Karl Marx and the crisis of capitalism (Essay writing and referencing)
5. John Maynard Keynes and the Great Depression (Presentations)
6. Keynesianism and the neoliberal critique
7. Economic globalization: the case ‘for’ and ‘against’
8. Political economic crisis: 2008 and beyond
9. Final preparations for group poster presentation
10. Assessment of group posters and presentations

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops71:007:00Study Skills Workshop
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00Provide studs with the opportunity to discuss final preps for assessed poster display & presentation
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1159:00159:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

POL1131 is composed of 15 lectures, 10 seminars and 7 workshops.

Lectures - Provide an introduction to the subject and overview of the key issues and debates.
Seminars - These provide students with an opportunity to discuss issues raised in the lecture and key texts. Seminars will include short student presentations. Workshops - These are more practical in nature. They will give advice on key study skills, as well as giving students the opportunity to learn and practise these skills themselves.
Drop-in/surgery session – this provides students with the opportunity to meet with the module leader and discuss any final issues related to the group poster display and presentation that makes up part of the assessment for this module.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M502000 word essay
Report1M10Written plan and progress report for the group poster/presentation (1000 words)
Practical/lab report1A40Group poster and presentation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Essay (50%) - the essay will be used to assess students individual knowledge of the subject. In addition, the essay will assess their ability to gather and synthesise information from a wide range of sources, think critically and present their ideas clearly in a written format.

Written plan and progress report for the group poster/presentation (10%) – the written plan and progress report will ensure student focus and reflect on the task group poster and presentation. Students will have to consider what they are going to do, how and who is going to do it. This assessment will enable sufficient progress is being made towards the group poster and presentation and ensure students knowledge of the subject is progressing.

Group poster and presentation (40%) – this element of the assessment examines students’ knowledge of the subject, as well as providing them with the experience of being part of a small team and working with others. As students have to decide upon the theme of their poster, as well as researching and designing it, this element of the assessment for the module also supports the development of skills related to project planning, decision making and finding/synthesising information. The group poster and presentation also tests the ability of students to present information in both an oral and written format.

Reading Lists