Political Analysis

Second year module

Lecturer: Stephen Bates

This module provides an introduction to the core philosophical disputes within the social sciences and considers the key concepts in the analysis of political change. It also considers a range of approaches to political analysis, to the nature and distribution of power, and to the relationship of state to society in contemporary systems.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Locate the discipline of political science, and the analysis of political processes more generally, within the social sciences. 
  • Show familiarity with the concepts of epistemology, ontology and methodology, plus an ability to relate them to the practice of contemporary political analysis. 
  • Display a familiarity with a range of contemporary approaches to political analysis and the study of the state.


  • Autumn essay (2000 words) to be worth 10% 
  • Spring Essay (2000 words) to be worth 40% 
  • Take home test (2000 words) in lieu of exam to be worth 50%