Module code: POL1027

Module Overview

The module provides an opportunity for students to investigate and discuss critical issues in both domestic and international politics. As such the module content will respond to key contemporary developments ensuring that students are able to employ their analytical skills gained through their semester 1 L4 modules (particularly POL 1012 and POL 1013). Typically the module will cover such issues as nationalism, problems stemming from globalisation, international conflicts, the cross-cutting instrumentality of environmental / sustainability policy, democratic and economic crises as well as matters related to identity, inclusivity and intersectionality.

Module provider


Module Leader


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 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

As this module responds to contemporary crises, the content will be adjusted each academic year to reflect new crises and developments therein. The module may include the following topics:

  • Economic crises

  • Refugee crises

  • Environment

  • Identity and intersectionality

  • Governance and policy (domestic as well as global)

  • The role of communication and how it affects the perception / instrumentality of crisis as an issue

  • International conflict

  • The rise of populism

Assessment pattern

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

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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

  • To demonstrate an understanding of contemporary issues and to analyse and critique them.

  • To employ an analytical framework to understand/explain contemporary events.

  • To explore differing relevant perspectives on the issues under study.

  • To utilise relevant material which relates to the arguments they are investigating

  • To formulate their individual approach to the examined matters using appropriate evidence in a scientific fashion.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Essay 1 – 40%

  • Essay 2 – 60%

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will receive verbal feedback in class concerning their contribution, as well as recorded material (in video or audio format).

Module aims

  • Enable students to debate, analyse and understand a range of contemporary political issues.
  • Encourage students to critically engage with these issues and formulate their own views towards them.
  • Develop students' skills in critical writing, researching fast-moving contemporary political issues in a systematic and rigorous fashion, using a range of relevant academic source material.
  • Develop students' debating and argumentation skills in a scientific fashion.
  • Familiarise students with useful digital tools and give them the opportunity to consider how to utilise them appropriately in their academic as well as future career roles.
  • Expand students' awareness of approaches related to the topic from other disciplines (i.e. law, sociology, psychology, economics, and creative arts), allowing them to explore and build their own understanding of the examined empirical cases.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate familiarity with contemporary issues K
002 Apply analytical frameworks to empirical analysis KC
003 Engage critically with central texts on key issues KCT
004 Gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of source material to construct a reasoned argument CPT
005 Develop research, writing and presentation skills. PT
006 Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management. PT
007 Formulate and appropriately support their own approaches to the matter in a critical fashion thereby also building confidence as well as resilience CPT
008 Start considering their role as future political scientists, both in a social as well as a vocational sense PT

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:

  • Ensure that students are well prepared for class by providing the key literature which connects with the core debates.

  • Give students an opportunity to discuss specific questions pertaining to the issues scheduled for discussion on weekly topics.

  • Enable all students to participate in the discussion both in the lecture and seminar classes, thus developing students’ oral debating/presentation skills as well as the appropriate use of digital tools.

  • Ensure that all students connect with the topic being discussed and can understand and utilise the key analytical arguments to explain/understand it.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • 1 hour lecture per week x 11 weeks

  • 1 hour seminar per week including class discussion x 11 weeks

In addition, there is captured content and digital resources available on SurreyLearn for students to consult and engage with.

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: POL1027

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 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

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 2025/6 academic year.