Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC1028: Modern Political Theory

This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.

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


NQF Level 4
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Brendan Carey (Lecturer)





Available via distance learning


This course will provide you with a foundation in core political concepts through a reading of canonical texts of modern political theory. Authors will include major political theorists throughout the modern period from Machiavelli to Marx. We will address a number of crucial political questions including: what is the basis of legitimate government and political obligation? What is the relationship between individuals and the state? What is the nature of liberty and equality? How does the institution of private property interact with the exercise of political power? In exploring these questions, we will observe the development of central political concepts against the backdrop of the French and American revolutions. Core readings will reflect upon the conceptual framework through which we interpret political practices and institutions and will provide a crucial foundation for future study.

No prior knowledge skills or experience are required to take this module and it is suitable for specialist and non-specialist students. The module is suitable for students studying Politics and History.

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