Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3057: Biopolitics

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

Module Aims

This module will introduce you to historical and contemporary ideas about biopolitics (as biology of politics/politics of biology), but with the ultimate aim of asking whether this binary can be overcome to create more productive debates into the future. In so doing, it will introduce key scientific, philosophical and theoretical debates about politics and the life sciences in the broadest sense, working through a series of case studies drawn from across the world since the early 20th century. 

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. Articulate the multiple meanings of ‘biopolitics’ and understand how and why these interpretations have been so politically contested.
2. Identify and critically evaluate one or more case studies of biopolitical debates across a range of domains.
Discipline-Specific Skills3. Deploy theoretical ideas about biology and society in the contexts of contemporary and historical biopolitical debates.
4. Think critically, analyse debates and present coherent arguments about the broader political issues raised by developments in life sciences.
Personal and Key Skills5. Present written material in a coherent manner; evaluate ideas and debates.
6. Produce seminar presentations; engage constructively in discussion and evaluate others’ performance.