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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Sociology Short Name: SOC106
Level: HE1 Module Co-ordinator: WILLIAMS MJ Mr (Sociology)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability


Assessment Pattern
One essay (50%) and one examination (50%)
Module Overview

This module offers an introduction to the study of politics through an examination of contemporary British politics.  Particular topics will include


·         the nature of politics as an activity and the relevance of the study of politics


·         the nature of liberal democracy and the British variant - the so-called “ Westminster model”


·         the development of the British political system and the British Constitution


·         the main political institutions: Parliament, Cabinet and Prime Minister, the civil service


·         the development of the electoral system and voting behaviour; electoral reform


·         the main political traditions and political parties: Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat


·         the private world of public policy: pressure groups and policy networks


·         economic management: the changing role of the Treasury and the Bank of England


·         public expenditure and public service reform


·         the changing shape of the : ethnicity and nationalism


·         foreign policy: ’s relations with the European Union and the .



Module Aims
Learning Outcomes

Students completing this course will acquire an


·         understanding of the nature of politics and of liberal democracy in its British variant


·         understanding of the development of the British political system and the working of its main institutions


·         understanding of the way in which public policy is made and issues in key policy areas


·         appreciation of current political debates and an ability to evaluate political materials in a critical way.



Module Content

Methods of Teaching/Learning
Selected Texts/Journals

(a) Main course texts


Budge, I, McKay, D, Newton , K & Bartle, T (2007), The New British Politics, Pearson (4th edn)


Jones, B, Kavanagh, D, Moran, M and Norton, P (2007), Politics UK, Pearson (6th edition)


Wright, T (2003), British Politics: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press



(b) Supplementary Reading


Bagehot, W, (1867), The English Constitution


Crick, B (1982), In Defence of Politics, Penguin


Heywood, A (2007), Politics, Palgrave (3rd edition)


Jenkins, S (2007), Thatcher and Sons, Penguin


Marr, A (2008), A History of Modern , Pan


Mason, P (2009), Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed, Verso


Oborne, P (2008), The Triumph of the Political Class, Pocket Books






Last Updated

Sept 2010