Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3277: Developments in British Politics: Institutions and Behaviour

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

Module Aims

This module provides students with high level knowledge about British politics and develops skills for analysing its political institutions, political behaviour and  current affairs. Each week we will address a development in British politics -- such as devolution through the 2014 Scottish independence referendum or electoral reform through the introduction of voter ID laws -- situating it within the wider political context and challenging existing understandings.

Drawing on a mix of qualitative and quantitative evidence, this module looks at the week’s topic through four lenses: theory, institutions, politicians and public opinion. We take established political science concepts, frameworks and institutions and apply them to contemporary themes and challenges. You are given flexibility in your methodological and conceptual focus, and are encouraged to push the boundaries of current scholarship through critical engagement.

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 a critical understanding of key features of British (UK) political institutions, political behaviour and political themes and theory and evidence about them
2. identify and critique the most important challenges and opportunities in British politics today along with theory and evidence about them; and,
3. situate specific institutions, behaviours, challenges and opportunities in British politics within their political and contemporary historical context.
Discipline-Specific Skills4. apply abstract theories and concepts to empirical cases;
5. use logic and reasoning to evaluate arguments; and,
6. deploy a range of social research methods commonly used in the discipline of politics.
Personal and Key Skills7. demonstrate ICT skills in accessing and using learning resources for the module;
8. work effectively in an organised manner individually as part of a team in seminars;
9. conduct research using a wide variety of sources; and,
10. communicate research findings clearly and concisely in the form of written reports.