Module Information

Module Identifier
IP12920
Module Title
Politics in the 21st Century
Academic Year
2018/2019
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Workshop 2 x 1 Hour Workshops
Seminar 4 x 1 Hour Seminars
Lecture 18 x 1 Hour Lectures
Viewing 2 x 3 Hour Viewings
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2 Hours   Seminar performance  10%
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,200 word essay  40%
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,500 word essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment 2 Hours   1 x 500 word review in lieu of seminar performance  10%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,200 word essay  40%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,500 word essay  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the central aspects of political life across a range of different states globally.
2. Show an awareness of the different types of political structures and systems operating in different states
3. Be able to demonstrate an awareness of the major approaches to the study of political representation and participation
4. Critically assess the key political issues facing contemporary politics in the 21st century
5. Effectively deploy skills of: identification and location of appropriate sources; independent study; writing (essays and examinations)

Brief description

The module will adopt a comparative perspective in order to understanding politics in the 21st century. It will look at key features of political systems, and will discuss key political ideas and issues. The approach taken is to combine theoretical and conceptual discussion with concrete examples, in order to provide students with the analytical tools and empirical knowledge to be able to understand contemporary politics.

Content

• Types of political systems
• Constitutions and political institutions
• Elections, parties and party systems
• Participation and Representation
• Identity politics
• Contemporary Political Issues

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students will engage with statistics through an examination of opinion polls and survey data, security and government spending data, and data related to the prevalence of security threats.
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to present their arguments most effectively. They will understand 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. Seminars will be run in groups where oral discussion and presentations will form the main medium of teaching and the emphasis throughout the module will be on student participation and communication. This is facilitated by group-role play based on teams operating within and beyond the seminar environment.
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 convener and fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their report and essay topics. Group work is integral to the seminars and provides opportunities for students to reflect individually and collectively on their performance. The need to contribute to the group discussions in seminars and to meet an assessment deadlines will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Lexus-Nexus, Primo, Google Scholar etc). Students will also be expected to make use of the resources that will be available on the AberLearn Blackboard. Finally, they will learn to navigate through relevant online sources such as IO and Governmental websites as well as ‘think tanks’.
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students’ verbal and presentation and team-working skills. Learning about the process of planning an essay and a report, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing through to completion will contribute towards students’ portfolio of transferable skills. In particular, report writing is an essential transferable skill contributing to their employability profile.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of an essay will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The need to research and prepare seminar presentations will also enable students to develop independent project 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 estimate an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills Students will be required to identify appropriate sources of both primary and secondary source information and to use them appropriately, understanding their relevant strengths and weaknesses. In particular, research for their policy reports will require careful gathering of data and information, the judicious use of such material in support of a particular set of recommendations. Using and analysing primary sources material will provide a particular set of information literacy skills.
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 • Ability to evaluate competing perspectives • Demonstrate subject specific research techniques Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and political problems.
Team work Seminars will consist in part of small group work and role-playing activities where students will be obliged to prepare, present and discuss as a group the core issues related to seminar topics. Such class room debates and discussions are a vital component of the module learning experience.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 4