Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL1026: Early Modern Political Thought

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

Module Aims

The module will introduce you to some canonical texts of the early modern period. You will be encouraged to appreciate the originality and saliency of these texts within the political context in which they were written and to understand the significance of the controversies and debates that have surrounded them since their publication. You will develop your ability to analyse philosophical arguments and to situate the texts studied in the appropriate historical contexts. You will be encouraged to engage in close textual reading while developing an awareness of the wider themes and concepts that inform early modern political thought.

There are no prerequisites for this module, although it is designed to complement Classical Political Thought (POL1025) and Political Thought of Modernity (POL2059).

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 political theories of the Western tradition between Machiavelli and the French Revolution;
2. understand, summarise and interpret complex and abstract arguments in politics;
3. summarise and precis a political theory;
Discipline-Specific Skills4. identify and discuss the major concepts deployed in a political theory and their argumentative articulation;
5. engage in both sympathetic interpretation and reasoned criticism of such theories, and to evaluate different interpretations in the light of appropriate evidence;
Personal and Key Skills6. evaluate ideas, arguments and texts;
7. develop and assess communication skills; and
8. take a critical attitude towards their work and learn from others through peer evaluation processes.
9. work independently, within a limited time frame, and without access to external sources, to complete a specified task.