Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Devolution and Wales
Academic Year
Semester 2
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
GW35020 or IP35020 The Welsh-medium equivalent of this module will also be incompatible, GW25020 Datganoli a Chymru (module being approved in parallell)
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  2000 Words  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Pre-seen examination  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  2000 Words  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Pre-seen examination  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate understanding of the main proposals for devolution to Wales proposed prior to 1997.

Evaluate the main features of the Welsh devolution arrangements, including the nature of inter-governmental relations.

Demonstrate understanding of the implications of devolved governance for different aspects of political culture and for public policy-making in Wales.

Demonstrate understanding of the dynamics of multi-level electoral competition in examining political parties and electoral politics in post-devolution Wales.

Reflect on different proposals for the future direction of Welsh governance.

Brief description

Amongst the most significant and far-reaching political changes that has challenged nation-states in recent decades is the expansion in regional authority across Western Europe and beyond through forms such as federalism, regionalization and devolution. This module examines the implications of the reshaping of political systems by considering key themes associated with decentralisation and territorial politics in the case of devolved government in Wales.


The first part of the module considers the historical basis for decentralisation and the establishment of regional governments giving specific attention to the journey towards opening the Welsh Senedd (previously National Assembly for Wales) in 1999. The module then examines key aspects of territorial politics and devolved governance including the constitutional status and policy autonomy of regional government, the nature of inter-governmental relations between central government and devolved institutions. It also considers the implications of devolved government for political representation and other aspects of political culture, including multi-level party electoral competition, and for public policy, including multi-level policy challenges. The final section of the module then reflects on the significance of devolved governance and examines proposals on the future direction of Wales.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Adaptability and resilience Students will be required to undertake independent research in order to complete the assessed work for this module. This will involve utilising a range of information sources, including core academic texts, journal articles, electronic publications, and online news sources.
Co-ordinating with others Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars. For some 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 discussions and debates form a significant part of the module, and will allow students to approach and examine a given topic through team work.
Creative Problem Solving Creative problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; the submission of an essay and preparation for seminar discussions 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 estimate an answer to the problem; reason logically; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into small
Critical and analytical thinking The module aims to promote critical and analytical thinking within a context in which support and assistance is available from the module convenor and other students. 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 how to answer assessed essay questions.
Digital capability Students will enhance their digital proficiency using Blackboard, where materials to support learning will be made available. Students will also develop skills in searching for, and assessing the validity of, online information sources as part of preparation for lectures, seminars and assessed tasks. Assessed work will be presented in electronic format, according to standard expectations.
Professional communication Students will learn how to communicate ideas verbally and in writing, and how to present arguments most effectively. They will develop skills in using many sources of information available 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. Presenting their work should also ensure effective communication
Real world sense The 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 requires students to write 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.
Reflection Students will be given the opportunity to regularly reflect on their progress at the seminars taking place throughout the module. The module convenor will provide students with questions on the module topics that will help guide self-reflection.
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 contemporary political problems.


This module is at CQFW Level 5