Comparative Politics

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

Level: Second Year (LI) Undergraduate
Credits: 20
Semester: 1 and 2
Contact hours: Lectures: 20 hours; Seminars: 20 hours.
Module Co-ordinator: Dr Tim Haughton


This module will compare political systems across the globe, with a focus on different types of political system (democratic, authoritarian, etc.) including the distinction between majoritarian and consensus democracies, political parties, party systems and cleavage structures, electoral systems and voting behaviour, constitutions, legislatures, executives, political culture, pressure groups, public policy, and emerging issues, such as populism and anti-party sentiment.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Display a familiarity with some of the most widely used theoretical and methodological perspectives in the field of comparative politics and an ability to relate them to the practice of political phenomena in the contemporary world.
  • Analyse the differences between political systems, institutions and party systems across the globe Europe.
  • Apply the frameworks of comparative politics to specific case studies
  • Understand the strength and weaknesses of the comparative method


  • Term One: 1 essay x 2,000 word 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.