POLITICAL COMMUNICATION - 2020/1
Module code: POL3082
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in a departure from previous academic years and previously published information, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the academic year 2020/21.
These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach during 2020/21. Detailed information on all changes is available at: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus/course-changes. This webpage sets out information relating to general University changes, and will also direct you to consider additional specific information relating to your chosen programme.
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This unit is concerned with understanding the role of political communication in contemporary politics. Arguably parties use the media to influence voters, but the media also has a role in holding (selected) politicians to account. This unit explores the various theoretical perspectives on the role of political communication and the media, before moving on to consider a series of empirical examples. The unit also covers key topics relevant to political communication including the relationship between political parties and the national media; whether it is the role of political broadcasts, televised debates, or the impact of rolling news coverage on the ability of politicians to control the media. It considers how changes in media have offered new opportunities for citizenship and democracy, including agenda setting. It also considers how parties and political organisations have adapted to use these new media. There is a focus on key issues in contemporary politics and case studies will be situated throughout the module. Students will also gain coding and content analysis skills in order to explore how key topical political themes are framed in political communication.
The module complements and expands elements of POL 1012 (Introduction to Politics), particularly structuralist theories of the state. It will also complement knowledge gained of British politics in POL 1017 (Debates in British Politics). The coding and content analysis skills also build on knowledge gained in Approaches to Research (POL 2027); although this module is not a pre-requisite – full training will be given as part of this module. There are no pre-requisites for this module and students have the opportunity to carry out independent research on a media/theme of their choice for the critique assessment.
MIDDLETON Alia (Politics)
Number of Credits: 15
ECTS Credits: 7.5
Framework: FHEQ Level 6
JACs code: L200
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
Indicative content includes:
- Understanding political communication: agenda setting and propaganda
- Understanding political communication: a changing role in a digital age?
- Press partisanship: the political media
- Political communication as an electoral tool: political advertising/broadcasts
- What works? Mood and negativity in political communication
- Framing in political communication: gender
- Framing in political communication: the importance of being local
- Political communication in the EU Referendum campaign
- Political organisation and new media forms
- The media and voting behaviour: does it make a difference?
- E Democracy
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
|Coursework||MEDIA CRITIQUE (2000 words)||50|
|Coursework||ESSAY (2000 words)||50|
The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:
- The ability to apply theoretical concepts to political communications
- The collection and analysis of original communication material
- Strong use of primary research skills.
- The ability to integrate original research with existing literature/knowledge.
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
- Media Critique: 2000 words (50%)
- Essay : 2000 words (50%)
For the media critique students are required to offer a critique of an existing piece of political communication, drawing on the unit. Please see the module handbook for further information. Students are free to select the media source (but will be given an outline of things to look for) and may opt to do a comparative study. Assessments deadlines to be confirmed – students should refer to the Module Handbook prior to the start of semester.
Formative assessment and feedback
Students will receive feedback on the first assessment before submitting the essay. Time will be set aside in seminars to discuss aspects of the assessment. Where students are asked to complete small tasks in advance of - or during - classes, verbal feedback will be given to the group as a whole.
- Introduce students to a range of theoretical perspectives on the role of the political communication
- Offer an insight into which the media facilities political engagement
- Consider the impact of new media on parties and voter behaviour
- Understand key ways in which political communication facilities citizenship
|001||Understand key theoretical trends in political communication||KC|
|002||Critically appraise existing political communication||KCPT|
|003||Analyse key framings in political media||KCP|
|004||Critically evaluate the changing process of political communication||KCPT|
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Overall student workload
Workshop Hours: 22
Independent Study Hours: 128
Methods of Teaching / Learning
The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:
- Encourage critical engagement with political communication.
- Facilitate the analysis of political communication by encouraging the use of transferrable research skills
- Encourage independent research between classes
The learning and teaching methods include:
Workshop sessions (2 hours per week x 11 weeks) to include: lectures, prescribed reading, group discussions, coding sessions, independent study, research and analysis of primary material. May include the preparation of short tasks prior to the weekly seminars (information to be given to students in the preceding seminar).
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 for POLITICAL COMMUNICATION : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/pol3082
Programmes this module appears in
|Public Affairs MPA||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics with German BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|International Relations BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics and Economics BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics with Spanish BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics with French BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics and Sociology BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|English Literature with Politics BA (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics with Creative Writing BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Law with International Relations LLB (Hons)||1||Optional||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.