Modern Political Thought

School: School of Government and Society
Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies

Second year module

Lecturer: Dr Richard Shorten

This module examines modern political thought, as expressed both in political philosophies and in political ideologies, in the period between the French Revolution and the Second World War.  In this way it allows students to closely consider the development of three distinctive traditions: liberalism, socialism, and conservatism.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to: 

  • Understand where and why there is disagreement between competing political traditions
  • Display a familiarity with the arguments and ideas of significant figures in the development of each of these traditions
  • Utilise these arguments and ideas in thinking about contemporary political issues


  • Term One: 1 x 2,000 words summative assessed work (50%)
  • Term Three: 2 hour examination (50%)

Related courses:

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.