Module code: POL1012

Module Overview

This course provides a general introduction to the study of political science. It provides students with a general overview of key concepts, structures and theoretical debates at the heart of the discipline. It looks at the links between domestic political institutions, political processes and their outcomes across and within countries, while encouraging students to critically reflect on political, social and economic trends.

Module provider


Module Leader

VAN HAUWAERT Steven (Politics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The module will introduce the discipline of politics as an object of study to students, through the presentation and discussion of key concepts and themes. The lectures will move from general questions on the nature and scope of politics, through an exploration of the state as a central locus of political activity, into a consideration of the relationships between various political structures. This includes issues of democratic governance, the importance of political and electoral institutions, and the role of citizens. The course will pay particular attention to different countries and historical periods, so as to give students grounding in the core theories of political science and comparative analysis.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework IN-CLASS TEST (3 x 10 MINS) 20
Coursework PORTFOLIO (3500 WORDS) 40
Examination FINAL EXAM (1-HOUR) 40

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

- Their level of knowledge from the assigned readings, their lectures and seminars and independent study

- Progress from one task to another on the basis of formative feedback

- Capability to construct arguments based on evidence and using theoretical frameworks

- Their understanding, reflection and critical assessment of seminal political science literature and authors.


The summative assessment for this module consists of:

- Three in-class quizzes spread throughout the course, unseen and at unknown times. Two of which (those with the highest grade) will count towards the final mark. The quizzes are 10-minutes long and assess knowledge of the material of the week through short-answer and multiple-choice questions, 20%

- A 3,500-word portfolio (split on a regular basis) submitted at the regular intervals and as a whole at the end of the course, structured to highlight the students' learning within a context of their regular reading of the assigned course materials, 40%

- A final exam, 40%.


Formative assessment and feedback

- Students will receive regular feedback in a formative way through their portfolio entries and input on their performance through their seminars. Students will be given the opportunity to receive feedback individually outside the classroom through feedback and consultation hours and one-to-one meetings. Feedback will be provided on the portfolio work to submit the final 3,500-word total at the end of the semester.

Module aims

  • Identify the essential characteristics of politics and the state, in a national and international context;
  • Outline the development of political structures;
  • Comment on political systems;
  • Develop the basic techniques and knowledge necessary to pursue further study in the field of political science.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Identify and evaluate key concepts in political science. KC
002 Construct reasoned argument, synthesize relevant information and exercise critica judgement. KCPT
003 Apply theoretical frameworks to policy/empirical analysis. KCT
004 Employ relevant research skills to investigate a politics- or policy-related area. KCPT
005 Access relevant politics- and policy-related datasets and be able to retrieve data from them. KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

-       Introduce students to foundation concepts and theories of politics

-       Bring students to a level of comprehension helpful for further study

-       Provide initial contact with concepts and material that links to other modules in their curriculum

The learning and teaching methods include:

11 x 1hr Lectures, 11 x 1hr seminars, debates & discussions, presentations, independent learning.


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: POL1012

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
International Relations BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Public Affairs MPA 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics and Economics BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.