Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3219: Politics Through the Life Course

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

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics: 

  • How to Study Politics through the Life Course: Key
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Key Theories I:  Socialisation – Early Childhood and Beyond
  • Topics I: Social Class, Education
  • Key Data & Methods I: on socialisation and examples
  • Key Theories II: Value Change
  • Key Data & Methods II: Age Period and Cohort Effects
  • Key Theories III: Life Cycle Effects – resources, social networks & identity
  • Topics II: Gender & Parenthood
  • Key Data & Methods III: Cross-national analysis

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities2211 x 2 hours weekly seminar meetings, discussion, presentations
Guided Independent Study55Reading, preparation for seminar meetings
Guided Independent Study43Preparation to complete assessments
Guided independent study30Data analysis and lab work

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).


  • Longitudinal Analysis & Other Research Methods: NCRM “In 2004 the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) set up the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) at the University of Southampton. NCRM was tasked to increase the quality and range of methodological approaches used by UK social scientists through a programme of training and capacity building, and with driving forward methodological development and innovation through its own research programme.” http://www.ncrm.ac.uk
  • UK Data Services – For all your data needs. https://www.ukdataservice.ac.uk
  • CLOSER – For all the longitudinal studies in the UK. http://www.closer.ac.uk
  • Sage Research Methods Online–SRMO is an online search tool that provides information and instruction on research methods in the health and social sciences. Available resources include books, articles, manuals and videos. http://methods.sagepub.com


A useful resource for conducting research is the scholar.google.co.uk. This allows you to conduct searches of all the major academic journals. Another resource for conducting literature searchers is Web of Science. You can find details of the Web of Science at:  http://www.librarv.ex.ac.uk/quides/essentials/wos.pdf