Module Catalogue 2020/21

POL1045 : Becoming a Political Analyst

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Judy Murray
  • 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 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 present the findings of their own research in writing, orally and visually in reports.

Outline Of Syllabus

POL1045 Becoming a Political Analyst will engage widely with essential critical thinking skills including:
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 will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

1. Critical thinking by critically evaluating language, statements, and arguments
2. How to accurately assess the nature, strength and quality of argument
3. The effects of biases and disguised logical fallacies in written, diagrammatic and numerical sources
4. How to select and summarise arguments fully, clearly and accurately
5. The ability to produce your own well-developed or critical pieces of successful argumentation

Intended Skill Outcomes

The fundamental skill outcomes of POL1045 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 type and quality
their ability to evaluate reasoning of different types
their ability to present reasoned and structured arguments, both orally and in written form

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 ActivitiesLecture72:0014:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture51:005:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops71:007:00Applied activities related to lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00Essay preparation/surgery
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1158:00158:00N/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 exercise1M50Essay 1500 words
Oral Examination1M20Length - 15 minutes
Written exercise1M30Source Analysis 1000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship



Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 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 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.