Study Abroad and Exchanges



POL1000 : Introduction to Politics and History

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aim of the module is to introduce students to a range of concepts, theories and debates in the contemporary study of Politics and History. In discussing all of these, the module considers how and why the disciplines of Politics and History converge and diverge, as well as how together, they can provide a ‘fuller’ explanation of contemporary events and society.

Outline Of Syllabus

POL 1000 is structured around three broad themes – ideas and concepts; Politics and History from below; and Politics and History from above.

The module begins with focus on key concepts in Politics and History, these are, democracy, the state and nationalism. In discussing these concepts, the module is concerned to show how they are related, as well as highlighting how the meaning of these concepts has changed through history. Indeed, the module shows how the meaning and understanding of these concepts has both shaped and been shaped by historical developments.

In examining politics and history ‘from below’, the module is concerned with looking at Politics and History from the ‘bottom-up’. Thus, there is a concern here with social issues, such as poverty and actors, such as social movements. This part of the module also examines how these actors can bring about change, both peacefully and violently, through revolution and protest.

The final part of the module is focused upon Politics and History from the ‘top-down’ or ‘from above’. Here there is a concern with ‘governance’ on both a national and global level. Specifically, the module examines how politicians and parties make policy, and how the disciplines of Politics and History seek to understand this process. Here the module also discusses the role of the United Nations, as an example of global governance.

Outline syllabus:

1.       Introduction to the module and the study of Politics/History
2.       Democracy
3.       The state
4.       Nations and nationalism
5.       Social movements old and new
6.       Revolutions and revolutionaries
7.       Political violence
8.       Poverty
9.       Governments and governance
10.       Global governance and institutions
11.       History and policy making
12.       Group debates

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical31:003:00Presentation and assessment of group debates that make up part of the assessment for the module.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00Full cohort, drop in session to discuss preparation for essays/group debates
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures – there are two lectures a week. Other than in weeks 1 and 12, one lecture will be led by a member of staff from History and the other from Politics. These members of staff will discuss the topic being discussed (e.g. democracy) from the perspective of their own discipline. Staff will coordinate with each other to limit duplication and ensure continuity within and across subjects.

Seminars – these will provide an opportunity to discuss the concepts, issues and case studies that will be introduced and examined in the lectures. Key readings and related questions will be assigned for each seminar. These key readings and related questions will form the basis of seminar discussion.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation601A40Group Debate, which will take place week 12 of teaching
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M402,000 word essay
Written exercise1A201,000 word written/critical analysis of a historical document
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Essay (40%) - 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.

Group debates (40%) – assesses the students written and oral presentation skills, as well as their ability to respond to questions from other students and staff. As students work in a group, this element of the assessment also contributes to developing the students’ team working skills. In addition, as the students have to research the topic they are debating, this will also 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.

Document analysis (20%) – students will be asked to write a review of a key historical document. This review should demonstrate the ability of the student to reflect critically and write in a clear and concise manner.

Reading Lists