Module Identifier IP12120  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Alistair J K Shepherd  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Jennifer G Mathers, Ms Anwen M Elias, Mrs Elena S Davidescu, Professor Michael Foley  
Course delivery Lecture   16 x 1 Hour  
  Seminars / Tutorials   8 x 1 Hour Seminars  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours Examination  70%
Semester Assessment One essay of 2,000 words  30%
Supplementary Assessment Students who need to resit the module must sit 1 x 2 hour exam worth 100%. The resit opportunity for this module will be available in the supplementary (August) examination period.100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate, through written work and examination, knowledge of the central aspects of political life in major European states
2. Show, through written work and examination, an awareness of the different political systems operating across major European states
3. Write essays in an academic context
4. Use appropriate referencing techniques
5. Compile a bibliography
6. Identify and implement appropriate reading strategies

Brief description

The module will provide First Year undergraduate students with a comparative introduction to the politics of several important European states (for example, the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Russia). The module will examine the historical development of each state; the major features of their constitutions and political systems; the social and economic context within which politics occurs; and the main features of political competition. The module will conclude with some discussion of the implications of the EU'r development for these states and for Europe.


The UK
The EU and European integration

Module Skills

Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; the submission of an essay will require that the student develops independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The need to research and prepare seminar presentations will also enable the student 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. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of the student's ability to work alone can be undertaken.  
Research skills The submission of an essay will reflect the independent research skills of the student. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research skills. Research preparation for a seminar presentation will also enable the student to develop independent project skills. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of the student's ability to work alone can be undertaken.  
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to assert themselves to advantage. 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 the best advantage. They will learn to be clear and direct in their 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.  
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the convenor and the 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 essay and presentation topics. The need to conduct a seminar presentation and to meet an essay deadline will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well.  
Team work Seminars will consist in part of small-group discussion where students will be obliged to discuss as a group the core issues related to seminar topics. Such class room debates and discussions are a vital component of the module.  
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 BIDS and OCLC).  
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students' verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning an essay and a presentation, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing through to completion will contribute towards their portfolio of transferable 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 political problems  


This module is at CQFW Level 4