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POL2045 : British Politics: State and Society

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nick Randall
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


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

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:3018:00Present in person lectures
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials31:003:00Pre-recorded video materials as required by GPS model
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture11:001:00Introductory and organisational present in person lecture
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Present in person seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1167:00167:00Seminar 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.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination991A50Take home exam (48 hour), 2000 words.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M502000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

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 course across the entirety of the curriculum. The time limited character of this assessment fosters and evaluates the skills that students may be expected to possess in the graduate workplace. The 2000 word essay will provide an opportunity for students to explore one of the topics in 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.

Reading Lists