POLU911: People and Power: Politics of the British Isles

Pre-requisite: None

Module overview:

The module will explore major institutions and processes in British politics. This will include an examination of the party system, the executive (i.e. government, civil service), the mass media and the role of interest organisations. It will also analyse a range of topics, including the politics of Scotland and Ireland and the European dimension. Students will gain a knowledge of how decisions are made in the British Isles and how major institutions work, and understand the relationship between ideologies and politics.

Learning outcomes:

  • To acquire a sound knowledge and competent understanding of the subject area
  • To assimilate a broad knowledge of relevant interpretative and analytical skills
  • To gain a general critical awareness of some relevant issues
  • To make broad judgements on the basis of relevant information
  • To indicate a general if limited awareness of some of the relevant theoretical debates in the subject area

Transferable skills:

  • To utilise appropriate information sources, especially via the internet.
  • To deploy evidence based analysis of major issues.
  • To assess data, information and ideas critically.
  • To participate in group discussion on specific topics, issues and ideas with peers.
  • To exercise autonomy by preparing individually for such participation.

Module Structure:

Two one-hour lectures and one tutorial per week

Assessment:

Assessment is averaged on the marks of two written assignments; an essay and a class test. There is no formal end-of-semester examination.

Preliminary Reading:

Reading will be assigned each year in September.

POLU912 : Political Concepts and Ideas

Pre-requisite : None

Module overview:

This module offers an introduction to political theory and analysis by exploring ideas and concepts central to political debates in the contemporary world. The module discusses ideologies such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, Marxism and feminism. It then focuses on much used political ideas and concepts, such as democracy, power, equality, sovereignty, freedom and obligation. The concepts and ideas are explained both through referring to classical texts and through use of examples from everyday life and contemporary politics at home and abroad.

Learning outcomes:

  • To acquire a sound knowledge and competent understanding of the subject area.
  • To assimilate a broad knowledge of relevant interpretative and analytical skills.
  • To gain a general critical awareness of some relevant issues.
  • To make broad judgements on the basis of relevant information.
  • To indicate a general if limited awareness of some of the relevant theoretical debates in the subject area.

Transferable skills:

  • To utilise appropriate information sources, especially via the internet.
  • To deploy evidence based analysis of major issues.
  • To assess data, information and ideas critically.
  • To participate in group discussion on specific topics, issues and ideas with peers.
  • To exercise autonomy by preparing individually for such participation.

Module structure:

Teaching will consist of two 1 hour lectures and one 1 hour seminar per week.

Assessment:

Coursework (50%); exam (50%).

Preliminary Reading:

Festenstein and Kenny: Political Ideologies: A reader and Guide

Hoffman and Graham: Introduction to Political Concepts

Heywood: Political Ideologies

Hoffman and Graham: Introduction to Political Ideologies 

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