Postgraduate

Modules

Modules

POL8041 : Thinking About Politics

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module introduces students to approaches, concepts and debates that span the disciplines of Politics and International Relations (IR). In doing this, the main aim of the module is to provide students with foundational knowledge that will inform their study of more specialist modules that are central to their chosen degree programme and their final dissertation. The module is also designed to enhance students' skills in comparative analysis, critical analysis and essay writing.

Outline Of Syllabus

1.       Thinking about Politics: introduction to the module
2.       ‘Thinking about’ ontology and epistemology in Politics and IR
3.       Behavioural analysis
4.       Rational choice
5.       Constructivism
6.       Classical Marxism
7.       Feminist and gendered approaches
8.       Post-structuralism
9.       Recap and preparation for final assignment

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities41:004:00Assessment preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching82:0016:00On-line, synchronous seminars.
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities77:0049:00Preparation for on-line seminars.
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities21:002:00Preparation for on-line seminars.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:001:00On-line, synchronous workshop on how to prepare for final assignment.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00On-line, synchronous drop-in/surgery;
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1127:00127:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

On line, synchronous seminars will be led by the module leader with input from students. Students will have the opportunity to discuss seminar readings and questions in small ‘break out’ groups. In preparation for each seminar, students will be directed to complete a number of readings and related questions. Readings and questions will provide students with foundational knowledge prior to each on-line seminar. Seminar input from the module leader and discussion will add to this knowledge. The workshop and academic skills activities will contribute to the development of the skills needed by the students to complete the formative essay proposal and related, final summative assignment. Together, seminars and structured guided learning activities will help students to develop the knowledge and skills required for the final assessment, in particular, critical comparative analysis.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M1003,500 word essay
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay1M500 word proposal/essay plan.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students complete a single 3,500 summative essay. In preparation, students submit a formative plan of up to 500 words, which sets out how they will address the question. Plan should include a summary of central argument, structure and key authors. Students will receive formative feedback on this plan from the module leader. Students will be encouraged to consider this feedback as they plan and complete the final assignment. This approach allows the students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in comparative analysis and critical thinking/writing.

Reading Lists

Timetable