Understanding Politics

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

First year module

Lecturer: Dr Peter Kerr

This is an introductory course designed to familiarise students with a broad spectrum of theories, approaches and issues related to the concept of power and contemporary political ideas.

The aim is to provide students with a solid foundation of key skills and knowledge upon which they can build their own perspectives on a number of themes and issues which they are likely to encounter over the course of their degree programme.

The course is divided into two main parts – the first part looks at different conceptions of politics and power, whilst the second half of the course examines a number of contemporary ideas and political issues.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate a familiarity with a broad spectrum of theories, approaches and issues related to the concept of power and contemporary political ideas.
  • Distinguish between major theories of power, politics and the state and link these to issues of contemporary political debate.
  • Identify broad trends in the development of political ideas and analytical approaches to the study of politics and power.

Assessment

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

Related courses:


The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2018. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.