Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3267: Misinformation, Misperceptions and Conspiracy Theories

This module descriptor refers to the 2022/3 academic year.

Module Aims

You will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the three key topics of misinformation, misperceptions, and conspiracy theories. You will learn the important role that these play in public discourse, and the threats they pose to healthy democracies. You will be exposed to multiple competing theoretical approaches and will be able to articulate similarities and differences to these competing approaches. As most readings will include quantitative data analysis, you will be able to develop and refine your skills reading and evaluating this type of work. There are no quantitative prerequisites (the instructors will give all relevant training to perform well in the course, but you should be prepared to engage with quantitative work). Taken together, this class will help your skills in applying theory to data, and subsequently using data to inform theory. The module may include opportunities for original data collection and analysis.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. demonstrate knowledge of the major theories in the field of misperceptions and misinformation (including conspiracy theories)
2. demonstrate knowledge of basic and advanced methodologies used by public opinion researchers
Discipline-Specific Skills3. understand and critically evaluate a broad spectrum of research designs, with a particular focus on quantitative research
4. exercise informed judgment concerning the use of empirical evidence in support of an argument in published research
Personal and Key Skills5. demonstrate critical-thinking, in particular as related to quantitative evidence and conclusions
6. demonstrate ability to present complex arguments with clarity and concision
7. work independently and with peers to meet common research and assessment deadlines effectively