Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3048: US Field Course

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.


NQF Level 6
Credits 30 ECTS Value 15
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (1 (year 3) weeks) and term 2 (4 (year 2) weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Joanie Willett (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


Studying politics involves not only desk-based research but often undertaking field work within a given context, in order to witness the evolution of political processes and their impact on society first hand. Such field work can take a variety of different forms, ranging from interviews with important stakeholders, to focus group discussions with community members, and the analysis of politicised spaces and public forums. By offering you the opportunity to travel to New York on a Departmentally subsidised field trip, this module provides you with the basic training required to carry out ethical field work, and then provides you with an opportunity to do so under a controlled, supervised setting.


Through four methodological workshops and a six day field trip, you will apply a variety of research methods to specific spheres of analysis within North American and New York State politics. You will keep an ethnographic notebook of your travels, collect photos of meaningful sites, conduct interviews with key individuals and critically assess the politics of commemoration and the negotiation of space in New York, so as to produce a report on the city’s politics.

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