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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

This course is an introduction to the discipline of political science. We begin by asking ‘What Is Politics?’ and address arguments surrounding the current ‘crisis in politics’ in advanced liberal democracies. The course covers key concepts in politics including state and democracy. We then study key institutions ranging from parliamentary and presidential systems, political parties, electoral systems and social movements. We address the role of the European Union and debates on globalisation. The aim of the course is for students to glean a sound foundation in understanding the key concepts, issues, institutions and actors in political science.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Joanne McEvoy

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?


What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The European Union's influence and reach is central to an understanding of British politics - but what exactly is the European Union and what is the effect of 'Europeanisation' on British politics? This course examines the main features of the UK (including its institutional arrangements, political parties and government) and EU systems (Commission, Council, Parliament) and explains the effect of the EU on the British policy process. It situates this study within a growing interest in 'multi-level governance', which describes a diffusion of power from central governments to other levels of government and to quasi and non-governmental actors.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written examination (60%); continuous assessment (40%). Continuous assessment is one 1,500 word essay.

Resit: 1 two-hour written examination (100%).

Formative Assessment

One online quiz approximately every 4 weeks, covering (1) the UK, (2) the EU and (3) the effect of the EU and other developments on the UK political system.


Summative assessment feedback (within 2 weeks of submission) based on the School of Social Science's form which combines written comments with set criteria for achievement.

Formative assessment will be 0% of the grade, so students can get their mark instantly and then review their incorrect answers immediately (feedback on the responses will be provided via webct). Although it is formative, each student will have to demonstrate that they have completed the exercise.

Course Learning Outcomes


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