Module code: POL1025

Module Overview

The primary focus of the module will be on how individual and collective identities shape politics and political processes. Drawing on perspectives from across the social sciences, the module offers an opportunity to consider the ways in which political activity is contextualised and understood by political agents of all sorts. The module will use a mixture of case studies to explore key issues.

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 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

This course introduces students to some of the key debates and concepts associated with the role of identity in political life. It considers how individual and collective identities shape, influence and reflect political activity and policy, as well as how politics shapes and represents a variety of identities. Through a number of analytical approaches and relevant operationalisations of identity, the course applies this to political practice and considers how identity impacts on politics from a range of social science perspectives, most notably comparative politics.

The course is structured around the following themes and questions:

  • What is identity? Theoretical perspectives

  • What are the major dimensions of identity in a political context?

  • How can we measure or evaluate identity?

  • Where does identity have an impact on political life?

  • How are collective identities represented across different political contexts?

Weekly lectures will cover the topics listed above. The seminars will provide an opportunity for students to consider relevant political materials and develop their own perspectives and understanding on the subject through intensive debate and discussion.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ESSAY 1 (2000 WORDS) 40
Examination FINAL EXAM (1-HOUR) 60

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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

  • Capacity to develop arguments, analyse relevant literature and address key debates in the role of identity in political life

  • Capacity to assess an area of interest, by identifying the role and expression of identity within a key area of political activity, referring to one or more of the core debates discussed throughout the module

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Essay (2,000 words), 40%

  • Final exam (1-hour), 60%

Formative assessment and feedback

A number of individual and group workshops with the students are designed to guide them throughout the different steps of the assessment.

Module aims

  • Develop students' understanding of some of the main concepts and key debates associated with the role of identity in political life;
  • Introduce students to some of the main debates concerned with the articulation and development of identity in the political process;
  • Consolidate students' ability to apply theoretical models to real-life examples, through analysing developments in specific areas of political activity.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Discuss some of the main concepts and key debates associated with the role of identity in politics; KCPT
002 Identify some of the main models involved in the formation and expression of social identity; KC
003 Analyse political practice in specific areas, using at least one of the concepts covered in the module. 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 a new topic, and provide room for student-led discussion of the topic.

The learning and teaching methods include:

lecture 1x11

seminar 1x11

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: POL1025

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Public Affairs MPA 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics and Sociology BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
International Relations BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics BSc (Hons) 2 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 2021/2 academic year.