Module code: POL1017

Module Overview

This module offers an introduction to British Politics, exploring the key institutions of the political system (monarchy, Government, Parliament, parties), recent political challenges (Europe, the role of the media, devolution) and options for reform. We will also examine the role of non-state actors in reshaping British politics; from environmental and sustainability activism to public petitions.Students will cement their knowledge of our parliamentary democracy and place this in the current political context. The module content links to other modules of comparative politics, public policy and political science in Levels 5 and 6.

Module provider


Module Leader

MIDDLETON Alia (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: 97

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 20

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Typical module content may include: Introduction to British Politics, Monarchy and the State, Prime Minister and Cabinet, Parliament, the party system, Devolution, the Media, foreign policy, elections, representation, and the power of protest. The content thus enhances global and cultural intelligence as well as resourcefulness and resilience to tackle complicated political issues in the context of British politics.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework BOOK REVIEW 40
Coursework ESSAY 60

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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

  • Their ability to understand and debate controversial issues in British politics.

  • Their ability to apply theories of the British political system to contemporary political events.

  • Critical analysis of introductory British Politics texts.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Book Review 

  • Essay

Formative assessment and feedback

Based on discussions and feedback in class and during tutorials

Module aims

  • Cement your knowledge of the formal work and structure of British political institutions.
  • Develop your knowledge of the informal workings of the political system, showing how these institutions work on a day to day basis, exploring common misconceptions.
  • Develop skills of political analysis, showing how contemporary political events challenge traditional theories of sovereignty, power and representation.
  • Provide students with the skills to critically analyse key British politics texts.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Identify the major debates in the field of British Politics. KC
002 Critically analyse contemporary political events and understand how these relate to traditional theories of sovereignty, power and representation. KC
003 Understand the tensions between the constitutional underpinnings of the political system and its more informal workings. KC
004 Examine current debates on Britain's position in the world, devolution and the reform of the political system, producing theoretically informed and evidence based responses, reflections and proposals. KCPT
005 Critically evaluate a short British Politics book. KCT
006 Employability: students are provided with sector specific knowledge, but also training in how to critique existing pieces of information and conduct research KCPT
007 Sustainability: the role of non-state actors and state actors in tackling environmental challenges discussed in the second half of the module include discussion on whether the UK is hitting climate change targets KC
008 Global and cultural intelligence: the module explores the position of Britain in world politics, discussing bilateral relations with Russia, the USA and the Commonwealth, amongst others, also exploring foreign aid policy KC
009 Resourcefulness and resilience: summative assessments are minimal, class discussions and challenges provide low stake exploration of student capabilities and feedback (class and individual) is provided on how to improve performance in future modules and assessments KCT

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:

Lectures and discussion elaborating on lecture content; in-depth discussion of issues in tutorials.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures, 1


In addition, captured content and digital resources are available for students on 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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: POL1017

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Public Affairs MPA 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
International Relations 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 2024/5 academic year.