Module Catalogue 2023/24

POL2045 : British Politics: State and Society

POL2045 : British Politics: State and Society

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nick Randall
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
  • Capacity limit: 80 student places

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

Code Title
POL1015The Westminster System: the UK in comparative perspective
Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



The module aims to explore the interplay of the UK state and society by analysing key features of the context within which British politics is situated. It will examine key economic, social and ideational institutions and relationships, analyse major trends in relation to these and relate them to both government policies and central bodies of contemporary social theory.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics likely to be covered include:

1.       Theories of British Politics: The Westminster Model and Beyond
2.       The Changing Character of the British State
3.       Parties, State and Society: The Rise and Fall of the ‘Postwar Consensus’
4.       Parties, State and Society: The Rise and Fall(?) of Neoliberalism
5.       The UK State and the Power of Business
6.       Class and UK Politics
7.       Gender and UK Politics
8.       The Politics of ‘Race’ and Ethnicity in the UK
9.       The ‘Troubles’ and ‘Peace’ in Northern Ireland
10. Nationalist challenges to the UK State
11.       The Media and UK Politics
12.       Britain’s World Role: Losing an Empire? Finding a Role?
13.       Britain’s World Role: The Anglo-American Relationship
14.       Britain’s World Role: Europe and Brexit – The Return or the End of UK Politics?
15.       Leading the UK State

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By studying this module students will -

1. Extend their understanding of British politics gained as part of POL1015 The Westminster System: Politics of the UK
2. Be able to make informed statements about the contemporary character of the UK economy, society and position in the international system and identify responses to these developments in both the agenda and policies of recent UK governments
3. Be able to make informed statements regarding the impact of the UK state upon the economy and society it governs
4. Be able to relate these understandings to theoretical perspectives on the nature of British politics and society
5. Through the above, be further prepared to undertake further study, research projects or dissertations on British politics should they wish to at Stage 3.

Intended Skill Outcomes

The module will develop students skills to -

•       Critically evaluate empirical data, policies, concepts, arguments and theories
•       Develop and articulate this critical understanding through independent reading, oral presentations, group discussion and written communication.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials21:002:00Pre-recorded video materials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:3015:00Present in person lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture22:004:00Present in person lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture21:002:00Lectures advising on essay and take home exam respectively
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Present in person seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1166:00166:00Seminar preparation; assessment preparation and completion.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures introduce students to the key features of the economic, social, ideational and international contexts of British politics. In addition, they serve to outline and illustrate the principal concepts and theories available in understanding these contexts.

The present in person seminars provide an environment in which students can explore their understanding of, and offer critical evaluation of these empirical, conceptual, and theoretical issues.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination28801A50Take home exam (48 hour), 2000 words., expected time to complete is 4hrs.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M502000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The 2000 word essay will provide an opportunity for students to explore one of the topics in the first half of the module greater depth. It will assess the student’s ability to place and synthesise the material gained from recorded lecture material, seminars and independent reading in appropriate contexts and their ability to critically and succinctly evaluate the ideas, concepts and theories introduced in lectures and explored in seminars. To encourage students to fully engage with seminar material the essay questions will not be released at the outset of the module but instead three weeks before the submission deadline.

The 48 hour take home examination will assess the students understanding of, and ability to critically evaluate, in time limited conditions, the key ideas, concepts and theories and empirical material of the second part of the module. The time limited character of this assessment fosters and evaluates the skills that students may be expected to possess in the graduate workplace.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes

Original Handbook text:

Welcome to Newcastle University Module Catalogue

This is where you will be able to find all key information about modules on your programme of study. It will help you make an informed decision on the options available to you within your programme.

You may have some queries about the modules available to you. Your school office will be able to signpost you to someone who will support you with any queries.


The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023 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 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.