Module Information

Module Identifier
IP35020
Module Title
Wales and Devolution
Academic Year
2015/2016
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
External Examiners
  • Professor Angharad Closs Stephens (Senior Lecturer - Durham University)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 11 x 1 Hour Seminars
Lecture 11 x 1 Hour Lectures
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay  Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module by submission of 100% coursework in lieu of original assessment(s). ALL supplementary/resit components are outlined on the International Politics website - http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/interpol/current-students/undergraduate/  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Critically analyse the main constitutional and organisational features of the various plans for devolution of home rule for Wales put forward before 1997.
2. Critically analyse the main constitutional, legal and organisational features of the devolution arrangements established in 1999, and also the manner in which it has evolved since then.
3. Evaluate the nature of inter-governmental relations between the devolved institutions in Wales with other layers of government, in particular the UK and European levels.
4. Describe and evaluate the nature of the policy-process in post-devolution Wales.
5. Describe in detail the nature of party-competition and political culture in post-devolution Wales.
6. Reflect critically on the future direction of the devolution process in Wales.

Brief description

The first part of the module is made up of a series of historical sessions that examine the various efforts to establish a measure of devolution or ‘home rule’ for Wales prior to the establishment of the National Assembly in 1999. The second section then goes on to examine the manner in which Wales’s devolved settlement has evolved since 1999, and as part of this detailed consideration is given to the provisions of the 1998 and 2006 Government of Wales Acts. The third and final section then turns to consider the manner in which Wales’s political culture has developed and evolved since the advent of devolution.

Aims

This module aims to develop students’ understanding of issue such as:

- the nature of the various plans for devolution or ‘home rule’ that were advanced prior to 1997;
- the main features of the devolved settlement established in 1999 and the manner in which it has evolved since then;
- the nature of party-competition and political culture in post-devolution Wales;
- the nature of the policy-process post-devolution Wales;
- the future direction of the devolution process in Wales.

Content

1. First Meeting

Part 1 - Devolution in context

2. The early attempts: from the 1890s to the 1950s
3. The ‘elephant on the doorstep’: the 1979 debacle
4. Resurrecting the dream: the road to the National Assembly

Part 2 - Wales’s constitutional evolution

5. The original design: The 1998 Government of Wales Act
6. The Assembly develops: 1999-2006
7. Towards legislative devolution: The 2006 Government of Wales Act before and after the 2011 referendum
8. Intergovernmental relations: Welsh devolved institutions and the UK State

Part 3 - Political culture and the Policy Process in post-devolution Wales

9. Electoral Politics in Post-devolution Wales
10. The Political Parties post-devolution
11. Representation and the National Assembly
12. The National Assembly and Civil Society in Wales
13. The policy process in a devolved Wales I
14. The policy process in a devolved Wales II
15. Welsh sub-state diplomacy: the European Union and international relations

16. The future of devolved government

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to present their arguments most effectively. They will learn the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. Students will also be required to submit their written assessments in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from both the module convenor and fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and exercising their own initiative, including searching for sources and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their coursework and presentation topics.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format, via the on-line platform Blackboard. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources.
Personal Development and Career planning This module is designed to hone and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statement of others. Moreover, the written work includes writing clearly and concisely, which is a common task in the workplace. Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance and to consider lessons for future application.
Problem solving Independent work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the preparation of the assessed essay and also the process of preparing for the exam will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and formulate an answer to the problem; reason logically; construct theoretical arguments; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research for elements of the assessed work. This will involve utilizing a range of information sources, including core academic texts.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: • Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module • Evaluate competing perspectives • Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and contemporary social and political problems.
Team work Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars. For many of the topics of this module, seminars will consist of small-group discussions where students will be asked to discuss as a group the core issues related to the seminar topic. These class discussions and debates form a significant part of the module, and will allow students to approach and examine a given topic through team work.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6