Module code: POL3084

Module Overview

This module offers students the opportunity to engage first hand with experts in a variety of different issue areas at the local, national and international levels. Thus the aim is to ensure that students understand how politics operates in practice through thinking about how policy is formulated and how different actors can influence it by applying theory to practice. It focuses in particular on contemporary issues and the module is designed to respond to current events.

Module provider


Module Leader

KITCHEN Nicholas (Politics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 100

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 17

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

This module will respond to contemporary developments at the national and international levels. As such the content will shift to reflect his. Indicative topics may include the following:

  • The politics of Brexit and how the process is being managed

  • The role of financial institutions in managing the economic crisis

  • Understanding the role and practice of deterrence in the current international environment

  • Representation and democracy

  • The challenge to state sovereignty

  • Engaging in different forms of politics – protest movements

  • The role of the media as an agenda setter or reflector.

  • How to influence policy

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation Group Presentation 20
Coursework Supporting Documentation - 1,000 words 20
Coursework Essay - 3,000 words 60

Alternative Assessment

Group Presentation: Assessment of a policy area (1,000 words) 20%

Assessment Strategy

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

  • Demonstrate the ability to work in a group to conduct a presentation which engages in critical analysis of a contemporary issue.

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

  • Capacity to deliver a focused critical analysis of how engagement in politics occurs and its outcomes (supporting documentation).

  • Capacity to apply an analytical framework to a contemporary example such that the nuances of political engagement can be explored in an in-depth manner (essay).

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Group Presentation – 20%

  • Supporting documentation – 1,000 words – 20%

  • Essay – 3,000 words – 60%


Students will receive verbal feedback in class concerning their contribution in addition to written feedback on their assessments.

Module aims

  • Develop students knowledge of how politics operates in practice through a variety of case studies.
  • Develop students’ skills of analysis and critique in understanding how policies are developed and actioned.
  • Give students the opportunity to engage first hand in a range of different issue areas thus providing them with the ability to connect analytical concepts to real world examples.
  • Help students acquire knowledge and understanding of current challenges for national and foreign policy decision-makers.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand and critique the role of different actors in political activism: from the traditional state/international levels to the individual. KC
002 Identify and analyse how policies are developed and operationalised. KC
003 Gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of secondary and some primary sources concerning relevant policies to construct a reasoned argument CP
004 Communicate persuasively and fluently in speech and writing. PT
005 Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management T

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:

  • Enable students to become active and independent learners.

  • Expose students to a range of actors and issues such that they can gain insights into how politics operates in practice.

  • Encourage students to engage with a range of different source material and present it both orally and in written form.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Classes may be taught as a two hour session to enable flexibility in format. The classes may include a range of pedagogical techniques including lectures, seminars, debates and group work.

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: POL3084

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

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.