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Module

POL3111 : UK Parliamentary Studies

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Stephen Elstub
  • Lecturer: Dr Diana Burlacu
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

The aims in this module are to enable students:
1.       Gain a detailed knowledge of how the Westminster Parliament works in both theory and practice
2.       Scrutinise the capacity of Westminster to fulfill five key democratic functions of parliament: representation, recruitment and maintenance of a government, scrutiny of the executive, legislation, and debate
3.       View Westminster in comparative perspective

Outline Of Syllabus

Parliamentary Studies aims to provide students with a detailed knowledge of how the Westminster Parliament works in both theory and practice. The overarching and coordinating theme of the module will be to scrutinise the capacity of Westminster to fulfill five key democratic functions of parliament: representation, recruitment and maintenance of a government, scrutiny of the executive, legislation, and debate. It therefore focuses on how the Houses of Parliament operates. It provides students with a sense of why cultures, traditions and informal relationships matter as well as formal procedures. Indicative topics may include:

•       The Functions of Parliament
•       The role and reform of Select Committees
•       Parties and Parliament
•       Descriptive representation and Parliament
•       Debate and deliberation in Parliament
•       The role and reform of the House of Lords
•       Public Engagement with Parliament
•       The devolved legislatures
•       Parliament and Europe

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 LearningLecture materials92:0018:00Recorded, non-synchronous; personal capture (PCap) videos;
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1139:00139:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities92:0018:00Viewing parliamentary footage & posting comments to discussion board; generating q's for guest spkr
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Synchronous
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time91:009:00Synchronous; Q&A Feedback Hour with ML
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time17:007:00Synchronous virtual visit to parliament
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Student contact will primarily take place through a series of lectures and seminar classes, supported by engagement through the module’s virtual learning environment. The lectures introduce students to the key themes, focusing on the academic and theoretical framing of the theme. Each lecture would be followed by a one hour seminar where the seminars allow for participation by students in clarifying and exploring key ideas and issues. These help to develop critical-analytical and oral communication skills. Further materials will be available via the modules VLE, where there will be a further opportunity for a virtual and more flexible discussion of the module themes.

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
Essay1M803000 words
Written exercise1M20500 words essay plan
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay plan and essay will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate skills in research, critical analysis, writing, referencing and working autonomously. In the course of selecting, researching, and writing up an essay on the functions of parliament students will learn about the theory and substance of parliament, finding secondary sources, properly citing them, and developing research skills. The essay plan will enable students to receive formative feedback in advance of producing the full essay.

Reading Lists

Timetable