Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3288: Political Science and the Real World

This module descriptor refers to the 2022/3 academic year.

Module Aims

Field experiments are studies that use the power of random assignment in real world setting to examine the causal effect of various treatments/interventions outside of a laboratory setting. This module aims to:

  • Introduce students to field experiments and how they can help answer important questions of how political science or other social science knowledge can be used to learn about and affect the real world.
  • Expose students to ethical debates about the use of field experiments.
  • Examine “what works” across a number of important questions and topics, potentially including:
    • Spurring economic growth and development, particularly in getting people out of poverty
    • Increasing voter turnout and other forms of political participation
    • Increasing interpersonal understanding about contentious topics
    • Reducing online incivility and abuse
    • Reducing political corruption
    • Increasing pro-social behaviours
    • Promote improved critical thinking to analyse contemporary affairs in the UK and abroad.
    • Promote understanding of the definition and use of predictive and causal social science models.
    • Improve your ability to critically analyse texts and to communicate effectively.

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 knowledge of electoral politics processes and institutions, and how these differ across different national contexts
2. Appreciate the role of voters, campaigns, candidates, media, and context play in affecting electoral outcomes
Discipline-Specific Skills3. Explain in a critical way how institutions and preferences combine to produce outcomes
4. Demonstrate understanding of the definition and use of predictive social science models
Personal and Key Skills5. demonstrate critical thinking skills, particularly as they relate to evaluating empirical (quantitative) evidence;
6. demonstrate the ability to work independently within a limited time frame to complete a specified task
7. demonstrate writing skills and/or other presentation skills to facilitate more powerful communication