Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3096: American Democracy and the Challenges of the 21st Century

This module descriptor refers to the 2017/8 academic year.

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

How this Module is Assessed

In the tables below, you will see reference to 'ILO's. An ILO is an Intended Learning Outcome - see Aims and Learning Outcomes for details of the ILOs for this module.

Formative Assessment

A formative assessment is designed to give you feedback on your understanding of the module content but it will not count towards your mark for the module.

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar questions based on readings or topics to prepare for class (emailed 24 hours in advance)3-5 questions (1 a term)4-5, 7-10Verbal feedback from module convenor and other members of the class.

Summative Assessment

A summative assessment counts towards your mark for the module. The table below tells you what percentage of your mark will come from which type of assessment.

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

...and this table provides further details on the summative assessments for this module.

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar participation15Over the 22 seminars4-5, 7-10Written feedback at the end of Term 1. Written feedback with final mark at the end of Term 2.
Essay503000 words 1-8, 10Written feedback
1 x 15 minute policy presentation3515 minutes + slides + 2 page handout4-5, 7-9Written feedback


Re-assessment takes place when the summative assessment has not been completed by the original deadline, and the student has been allowed to refer or defer it to a later date (this only happens following certain criteria and is always subject to exam board approval). For obvious reasons, re-assessments cannot be the same as the original assessment and so these alternatives are set. In cases where the form of assessment is the same, the content will nevertheless be different.

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay (3,000 words)1-8, 10August/September re-assessment period
Policy presentation30 minute viva (15 min presentation + questions)4-5, 7-9August/September re-assessment period
Seminar participation15 minute viva4-5,7-10August/September re-assessment period