Political Enquiry in Politics - POL00050I

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  • Department: Politics
  • Module co-ordinator: Ms. Barbara Yoxon
  • Credit value: 30 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20
    • See module specification for other years: 2018-19

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2019-20 to Summer Term 2019-20

Module aims

The module aims to:

  • Encourage students to think critically about the claims and arguments that are made about political phenomena within academia and beyond;
  • Develop awareness of the processes involved in generating new knowledge and making an argument within the discipline. What does it mean to 'do research' in Politics?;
  • Develop confidence and independence as scholars of Politics, both within the undergraduate degree and after graduation;
  • Prepare students for a Politics dissertation in the third year of their study by giving them the skills and confidence to design and carry out a piece of independently political research.

Module learning outcomes

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

  • Trace the development of political enquiry from the Enlightenment to the modern day;
  • Understand the various debates surrounding the application of the scientific method in political studies;
  • Be able to independently formulate research questions, design effective research strategies, and select appropriate research methods and tools in order to answer them;
  • Critically engage with a variety of research tools and techniques and understand the factors that affect their application and utility;
  • Clearly distinguish between qualitative and quantitative methodological traditions in political studies;
  • Understand the principles of the scientific approach to political studies, and identify its key strengths and limitations;
  • Have the skills to use a piece of statistical software in order to analyse and interpret quantitative data;
  • Understand and apply major qualitative methodologies in political studies, including interviews, focus groups, discourse analysis, and archival research.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 2000 words
N/A 40
Essay/coursework
Independent Research Project
N/A 60

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 2000 words
N/A 40
Essay/coursework
Independent Research Project
N/A 60

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 six weeks after submission in 2017/18, and from 2018/19, no later than 20 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

Halperin, S. and Heath, O. (2012) Political Research: Methods and Practical Skills. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Burnham, P., Lutz, K.G., Grant, W. and Layton-Henry, Z. (2008) Research Methods in Politics, Second Edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.



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.