Surrey University Stag

INTRODUCTION TO POLITICS - 2022/3

Module code: POL1012

Module Overview

This module offers students a first introduction to the study of political science, with an overall objective to set the foundations for developing a cultural and global diversity mindset, employability skills, digital capabilities, sustainable thinking, resourcefulness and resilience in the study of politics. Students engage with a set of key concepts of political science, questions and debates at the heart of the discipline. The module is a foundational window to the functioning of political systems and processes, key theories of political science and insights into the way important societal developments affect politics in any country context. Moreover, this module will teach and encourage students to start critically reflecting on social and political trends around the world, as well as set the foundations to become independent thinkers in analysing political developments and events. 

Module provider

Politics

Module Leader

GKOTSIS PAPAIOANNOU Nikolaos (Politics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: L200

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 109

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 8

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None  

Module content

This module introduces the discipline of political science as a basic object of study of a degree in Politics and International Relations and their combinations with other disciplines, through the presentation and discussion of key concepts, questions and themes. The weekly sessions move from general questions around the nature and scope of political science, by exploring power as the central construct of political activity, into a consideration of the relationships between various political actors within the political and social sphere. This includes studying the role of elites and masses, the importance of political and electoral institutions, governance and government, and the relationship between democracy and representation. The module explores a series of different countries and historical periods to demonstrate the extent of global impact of politics, providing the grounding in the core theories of political science beyond a single-country and through comparative analysis, setting the foundations for modules in Level 5 and carrying forward concepts and ideas applicable to Level 6 modules. 

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework PORTFOLIO 1 40
Coursework PORTFOLIO 2 60

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The module's assessment strategy aims to help you develop and demonstrate your abilities to:

- Discuss with knowledge key concepts and topics in political science.

- Critically engage with the module material available on SurreyLearn and beyond.

- Present and develop clear arguments within a word count limit.

- Begin analysing global and national political issues and moving away from pure description.

- Critically evaluate different approaches used in the reading material to help you build your own arguments and knowledge-base.

The summative assessment for this module consists of two portfolio exercises:

- Portfolio 1 (40%). A portfolio of four short critical reviews from core readings (first half of semester). Each critical review covers a core text matching a particular week's topic. The critical reviews will be submitted weekly via discussion boards on SurreyLearn on a weekly basis and students will receive formative feedback to submit their portfolio also during lectures and seminars. Students will receive summative feedback on the whole portfolio following the formal submission deadline. 

- Portfolio 2 (60%). A portfolio of five short critical reviews from core readings (second half of semester). Each critical review covers a core text matching a particular week's topic. The critical reviews will be submitted weekly via discussion boards on SurreyLearn on a weekly basis and students will receive formative feedback to submit their portfolio also during lectures and seminars. Students will receive summative feedback on the whole portfolio following the formal submission deadline.

Formative assessment and feedback:

Formative weekly quizzes on SurreyLearn: Every topic covered through the module is linked to a formative quiz. These quizzes aim to give you a self-assessment of the learning outcomes. You get the opportunity to test your fundamental knowledge of class material, ensure that you are all on the same page and reflect on your own learning and use of reading materials. With that in mind, the primary focus is to identify core scholars in the topics, define of core concepts, comprehend basic theories and recognise theories and concepts in real-life scenarios and tasks. Each quiz is no longer than 15-minutes to complete based on multiple-choice questions and true/false statements. The quizzes enhance your digital capabilities, research skills, and the building of resourcefulness in thinking about key concepts of political science in relation to their application to real-world problems.

Module aims

  • Introduce the discipline of political science in a national and international context;
  • Identify and evaluate key concepts and central themes in political science by using online reading lists and practical exercises
  • Construct reasoned arguments, synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgment including sustainable thinking and diversity of opinions
  • Gain a general understanding of the main theoretical debates and questions in political science to build the tools for Levels 5 and 6
  • Employ relevant digital and non-digital research skills to investigate targeted questions with guidance
  • Develop fundamental techniques and knowledge necessary to pursue more advanced modules in political science in the course of your degree

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Identify and evaluate key concepts in political science. KC
002 Construct reasoned argument, synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement. KCPT
003 Apply theoretical frameworks to policy/empirical analysis. KCT
004 Employ relevant digital and non-digital research skills to investigate a politics- or policy-related real-life problem, in a national or international context. KCPT
005 Access relevant digital 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 to provide the scaffolding for Level 5 and 6

-       Provide initial contact with concepts and material that links to other modules in their curriculum, with a view to develop digital capabilities (researching material online), employability skills (knowledge) and widen horizons to understand issues of global and cultural diversity and sustainable thinking, as well as become resourceful in their study skills and resilient in recognising the challenges of studying political science.

The learning and teaching methods include:

11 x 1hr Lectures 

11 x 1hr seminars, including debates & discussions, presentations

Approximately 1 hour of captured content per week depending on the subject and additional guided and independent learning tools via SurreyLearn.

 

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

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
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
Politics and Sociology BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
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
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 2022/3 academic year.