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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Politics Short Name: POL515
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: ABBOTT JP Dr (Politics)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability

Spring Semester only

Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)
Assignment  1 (2500 words)
Assignment 2 (2500 words)
Qualifying Condition(s) 
A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module.

Module Overview

The module provides an opportunity for students to investigate and discuss contemporary developments in international politics. The specific content will be discussed and agreed with students at the commencement of the module. Typically, the module will cover a range of issues, at regional and international levels, such as:

  • The State 
  • War on Terror 
  • Development 
  • Human Rights 
  • Environment 
  • Humanitarianism 
  • Gender 
  • Globalisation 
  • Nationalism


Module Aims
  • To provide students with an opportunity to consider, analyse and debate a range of key current issues in international politics 
  • To develop a critical understanding of complex issues in international politics 
  • To apply social and political theories and models to the analysis of contemporary events 
  • To develop skills in researching fast-moving contemporary political issues, using periodicals, databases, newspapers, etc. 
  • To develop critical debating and argumentation skills
Learning Outcomes
At the end of this module, students should be able to:
Knowledge and understanding
  • understand and critically analyse complex issues in contemporary politics
  • understand a range of theoretical models which can be applied to the study of contemporary political issues
Cognitive skills
  • gather, organise and deploy evidence and information from a range of different sources
  • analyse and synthesise a wide range of material in different formats
  • deal with complex issues systematically and creatively
  • construct reasoned argument
  • apply theoretical frameworks to empirical analysis
Practical skills
  • make appropriate use of information and communications technology 
  • form effective arguments
  • research current issues using a range of different sources 
  • debate current political issues
Transferable skills
  • communicate and present ideas effectively, orally and in written format
  • reason critically
  • use information and communication technology for the retrieval and presentation of material 
  • deploy a range of relevant research skills
  • make decisions in complex situations
  • take responsibility for own learning
Module Content

Introduction: nature and grounds for selection of key issues; areas of focus within each

Methods: approaches to, and sources for, researching these issues

Key issues: consideration of the issues, based around presentations by students

Conclusion: consideration of overarching themes from the module

Methods of Teaching/Learning

At the outset of the module, a range of topics and issues will be discussed and agreed with students. Students will then research a range of materials relating to these, and make presentations in class. Although there will be some focussing and specialisation, all students will be expected to investigate the full range of topics.

Selected Texts/Journals

This will vary according to the topics investigated. It is expected that students will make extensive but discriminating use of periodicals, databases, the contemporary press, and internet sources.

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