Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 Hours. (11 x 1 hour)
Seminars / Tutorials 11 Hours. (11 x 1 hour)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay  40%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   60%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Resit opportunities for this module will be available in the Supplementary examination period. F resit: The student will re-sit the module by examination only for a 'capped' pass mark (40). H resit: The student will submit missing coursework elements and/or re-sit by examination in the upplementary exam period in lieu of a missed/failed exam for full marks. Students re-sitting elements of failed coursework are required to select a different essay/assignment title and must not submit re-written versions of the original essay/assignment.  

Learning Outcomes

The objectives of this module are:
- to develop in students an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments of key modern social and political theorists
- to encourage students to evaluate critically their own views on politics in the light of the ideas of major theorists
- to comprehend the main aspects of Marxism as an economic and political doctrine

Brief description

A continuation and examination of the issues introduced in Year 1 Political Philosophy and Political Theory (Year 2 &3). The module evaluates the main aspects of the Marxist account of the collapse of capitalism and asks how applicable the model is to our current situation.


The aims of this module are to take further the study of some principal texts in modern political thought by looking closely at the main social and political writings of Marx, Hegel, Foucault and Lyotard and to develop a critical awareness of the complexities and problems of modernity. The thinkers looked at will vary from time to time. In 2009-10 particular attention will be paid to the origins and implications of Marx's criticism of capitalism and the post-modernist response to his theories.


The module looks at the analysis of economy, civil society and state in the political theories of Hegel and Marx. Their political philosophies will be explored as accounts of the relation between individual and society, society and progress, and Marx's understanding of the relation between modernity and capitalism will be critically evaluated. In the session 2009-10 the module will contrast the political philosophies of Hegel and Marx with those of the post-modernists M. Foucault and Jean-Francois Lyotard. Foucault's account of governmentality will be contrasted with Marx and Hegel's account of the disciplinary methods of modern society.

Transferable skills

This module will provide the opportunity for students to develop their oral, intellectual and communication skills. In the lectures emphasis will be placed on understanding, following the argument and summarizing it concisely. In the seminars emphasis will be placed on developing clear, cogent and persuasive arguments. The seminars offer the opportunity for students to show independent reasoning and judgement. Essay writing will encourage students to carry out research on their own initiative and to develop their IT presentation skills. The examination will test knowledge retention, comprehension and skills of analysis under conditions of time constraint.

10 ECTS Credits

Reading List

Recommended Text
H Williams/D Sullivan/G Matthews Francis Fukuyama and The End of History Primo search Hegel, G.W.F. (ed A.Wood) Philosophy of Right LUP Primo search Immanuel Kant (1999) What is Enlightenment in Kant's Practical Philosophy Cambridge University Press Primo search Lawrence and Wishart Karl Marx 1818-1883. Selected Works in One Volume - Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6