Number of modules: 40

Entry requirements: None


This module aims to provide students with a good basic understanding of the nature of political institutions and ideologies and assist them to develop the ability to interpret and analyse political information and evaluate arguments.

Intended learning outcomes:

Assessable outcomes

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of basic political ideas, concepts, structures and processes
  • interpret and analyse political information and apply a range of relevant political ideas, concepts and theories
  • evaluate arguments, theories, values and ideologies in an attempt to explain political behaviour
  • demonstrate the skills of evaluation, analysis and synthesis and show an ability to present a critical argument with relevance, clarity and coherence.

Additional outcomes

The module also aims to encourage the development of an acceptable level of spelling, punctuation and grammar. Students will also develop their IT skills in presenting their work and in searching IT sources for information.

Outline content

The module consists of two main topics: Politics A - Political Concepts and Ideologies and Politics B - Political Institutions.

Politics A is about fundamental political concepts and approaches to the study of politics. The major political ideologies: liberalism, conservatism and socialism (including Marxism) are studied and are related to the British political experience. A fundamental concern is the critical examination of the meaning and usage of key concepts such as politics, democracy, the state, power, authority, law, justice and rights.

Politics B is principally about political institutions and processes. Through a comparative analysis of the political institutions of the United Kingdom and the United States of America, it introduces students to political systems by the examination of such central themes as constitutional government, federalism, the separation of powers, representation, legislative-executive relations and the judicial process.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods

Lectures based on printed notes, question and answer discussions.

Student views of this module

Adesina Ademola (Nigeria)

'I chose to study Politics because it is a possible alternative to my degree course in Law.
The most challenging part of the module has been learning about the features of the different political systems. However, learning about the practical aspects of politics is easier.
I would advise future students of this module to be involved in what goes on in society and to watch the news and learn about the different ways that different countries are governed.'

Stephanie Nwodo (Nigeria)

'I chose to study Politics because it is interesting and will help with my Law course.
Learning and knowing the dates of important events has been challenging but the module is quite understandable as it is about every day events. It is also lively.
Students need to read ahead of the classes and keep up to date with the work.'

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