Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3271: Public Opinion, Post Factual Politics: New Challenges for Western Democracies

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 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:

  • The nature of political attitudes
  • Understanding quantitative research
  • Theories of opinion formation
  • Political sophistication and heuristics
  • Political contestation I: left/right conflicts
  • Political contestation II: cultural conflicts
  • Models of voting behaviour
  • The rise of populism
  • The role of emotions
  • Filter bubbles, misinformation, and social media
  • Public support for democracy
  • Tolerance
  • The public divide over the EU and Brexit
  • Identity politics I: cosmopolitanism and European identity
  • Identity politics II: Anti-immigrant sentiments
  • Identity politics III: far right parties  
  • Attitudes towards the redistribution of resources within and across nations
  • Attitudes towards gender equality

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 activities442 hour weekly seminars with a mix of short formal lectures, student led seminar, and collective discussion
Guided independent studies98Preparing for seminars: reading and research
Guided independent study158Completing assessment tasks: reading, research and writing

Online Resources

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