Module Catalogue 2019/20

POL1045 : Politics: Essential Research Study Skills

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Judy Murray
  • Teaching Assistant: Dr lucrezia Canzutti
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



POL1045 Political Research and Study Skills provides an essential foundation in basic study skills and the skills of data collection, evaluation, analysis and evidence that are necessary for the successful study of politics. The module will offer hands on and applied approaches in both qualitative and quantitative methods that are appropriate for those with no previous knowledge of politics, but will also provide new intellectual challenges for those with previous experience in studying politics. Students will be introduced to a series of contemporary problems in empirical political analysis, the types of data collected to improve our understanding of these problems, and the techniques used to analyse these data. 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 present the findings of their own research in writing, orally and visually in reports.

Outline Of Syllabus

POL1045 will draw widely across the discipline by focusing on fundamental questions designed to engage student interest. These topics will be drawn from:
Political behaviour: Voting behaviour, protest movements, parties
Comparative Politics: Political development and modernisation, statism, electoral systems
International Relations: Balance of power, deterrence, globalisation
Political thought: Nationalism, Marxism
American Politics: Media and Politics, Campaigns, American Federalism

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

An ability to analyse some of the central questions in empirical political research
Knowledge of how politics researchers develop strategies to analyse relevant and contemporary questions
A critical awareness of the use of data in political debate
Knowledge of some of the most widely used data resources such as election studies, comparative surveys or data bases concerning democracy
Knowledge of how data resources can be found and used to inform research on central issues concerning politics

Intended Skill Outcomes

The fundamental skill outcomes of POL1045 are to enable students to transition from A-level approaches in the study of politics to University level study and engagement.

Students will develop:

their ability to communicate ideas in writing, orally and verbally
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 ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery141:0014:00Individual portfolio feedback – contained in one ‘feedback week’ during seminar and lecture times
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00Essay preparation/surgery
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1152:00152:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship


Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M20Provides topical foundation for remainder of module will be used as the basis for further writing research skills - 500 words
Written exercise1M20Focus directly on the skills of finding appropriate sources, reading critically,identifying research method within source materials.
Prof skill assessmnt1M10Seminar participation
Essay1M50Self-reflection exercise for this assessment prescribed format taken from,Palgrave Study Skills concerning critical thinking.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship



Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2019/20 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 2020/21 entry will be published here in early-April 2019. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.