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Political Analysis - POL00014C

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  • Department: Politics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Liam Clegg
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

The world of politics is complex, dynamic, and can seem to defy explanation. Political Analysis supports students to develop rigorous and compelling accounts of political phenomena. The module introduces foundations of both ‘positive’ analysis that seeks to precisely describe, compare, or/and identify causal drivers, and ‘normative’ analysis that offers evaluation of political practices and institutions against ideal-type conceptualisations.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

At York, we adopt a broad approach to the study of Politics and International Relations. Across this breadth, we are unified by a commitment to analytic rigour - ensuring that the accounts of political phenomena we develop are clear, compelling, and engage effectively with existing scholarship. The module aims to provide students with a grounding in the range of approaches used to develop rigorous political analysis. The module also supports the development of transferable study and written and oral communication skills, which also function as employability enhancements. As a whole, module content is designed to expand skills and knowledge bases that will complement students’ progression through their wider programmes of study.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to:

  • Identify core theories, concepts and methods used within Politics and International Relations [PLO1]

  • Use critical reasoning to analyse the main assumptions, strengths and weaknesses of key theories of Politics and International Relations [PLO2]

  • Demonstrate awareness of the challenges involved in conducting research in Politics and International Relations, including selecting and justifying the use of appropriate theories and concepts, gathering and interpreting data, arriving at appropriate and justified conclusions [PLO3]

  • Communicate according to established academic conventions in Politics and International Relations to present arguments using key facts and concepts through examination answers [PLO5].


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Open exam : 4-hr Open Exam
4 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Open exam : 4-hr Open Exam
4 hours 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s feedback and guidance hours.

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment no later than 25 working days; and the module tutor will hold a specific session to discuss feedback, which students can also opt to attend. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s regular feedback and guidance hours.

Indicative reading

Adrian Leftwich (2004) What is Politics? (Cambridge: Polity).

Katherine Smits (2016) Applying Political Theory: Issues and Debates (2nd ed, Basingstoke: Palgrave).

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.