Module Catalogue 2024/25

POL1045 : Becoming a Political Analyst

POL1045 : Becoming a Political Analyst

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Judy Murray
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



POL1045 Becoming a Political Analyst provides students with an essential foundation in critical thinking, evidence evaluation and argument construction. The module will offer applied opportunities to critically examine language and rhetoric, reasoned argument and standards of proof. Students will work with real-life examples of speech, media reports and academic writing to identify arguments, assess the quality of evidence presented, and interpret the nature and quality of information. The module will enable students to assess critically the quality of data, evidence and analyses produced by others, and will enable students to become independent researchers and effectively present the findings of their own research.

Outline Of Syllabus

POL1045 Becoming a Political Analyst will engage widely with essential critical thinking skills such as:
•       Analysis of language and rhetoric
•       Argument identification and reconstruction
•       Assessing beliefs and bias
•       Systems of reasoning: induction and deduction
•       Recognising the use of irony and logical fallacies

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students who complete POL1045: Becoming a Political Analyst will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

•       The ability to critically evaluate language, statements, and arguments
•       Knowledge of how to accurately assess the nature, strength and quality of argument
•       Understanding of the effects of biases and disguised logical fallacies in written, diagrammatic and numerical sources
•       The ability to select and summarise arguments fully, clearly and accurately
•       The ability to produce your own well-developed or critical pieces of successful argumentation

Intended Skill Outcomes

The fundamental skill outcomes of POL1045: Becoming a Political Analyst are to enable students to transition from A-level approaches in the analysis of politics to University level critical analysis, study and engagement.

Students will develop:

•       their ability to evaluate, discuss and identify argument types and quality
•       their ability to evaluate reasoning of different types
•       their ability to present reasoned and structured arguments
•       their ability to work independently
•       their ability to support an argument with credible evidence
•       their ability to identify and draw information from a wide range of relevant source material

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00PIP Lectures
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities61:006:00Quizzes; guided tasks
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities112:0022:00Annotated/guided reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00PIP Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00Online assessment surgery
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1139:00139:00Assessment preparation and completion
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures will provide students with an introduction to the foundations of critical thinking, presenting topics such as:
•       Analysis of language and rhetoric
•       Argument identification and reconstruction
•       Assessing beliefs and bias
•       Systems of reasoning: induction and deduction
•       Recognising the use of irony and logical fallacies
This content will provide the basis for self-directed study, small group teaching and assessments.
Small group teaching provides an environment in which students can explore and deepen their understanding of the issues raised in the lecture material and discuss essential readings relevant to the module. Small group teaching also provides the context in which students will develop many of the skills outcomes associated with this module.

Structured, guided learning activities will allow students to check their understanding of the topics covered in lectures and small group teaching, foster a deeper understanding and reflection, whilst simultaneously encouraging independent learning and effective time management.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt1M25Quizzes and guided tasks
Written exercise1M25Source analysis 1000 words: focus on what is an argument, reconstructing arguments, valid and invalid arguments
Written exercise1M25Source analysis 1000 words: focus on assessing evidence, inductive reasoning and explanations, theories and hypotheses
Written exercise1M25Source analysis 1000 words: focus on rhetoric, logical fallacies, and bias
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The professional skills assessments foster engagement with the module through the duration of the semester and provide students with the necessary opportunities for skills acquisition, thereby enabling students to successfully continue their university studies.

The written exercises provide students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, critical thinking and analytical skills through the process of evaluation and interpretation of real-life examples of speech, media reports and academic writing.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Welcome to Newcastle University Module Catalogue

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The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2024 academic year.

In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described.

Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2025/26 entry will be published here in early-April 2025. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.