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PO107-30 Introduction to Politics

Department
Politics & International Studies
Level
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Andreas Murr
Credit value
30
Module duration
22 weeks
Assessment
40% coursework, 60% exam
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

The module offers a space for thinking about how we go about conducting the academic analysis of politics. It introduces some of the core ideologies in political science, explores some of the main themes today, and considers some of the major drivers of political change. The aim is to provide students with the conceptual tools needed for more advanced study of politics in years two and three of their degrees. The module mixes theory and political practice. The assigned readings come mostly from political science and political theory, but also includes perspectives from overlapping disciplines such as sociology, economics, geography and history.

Module aims

The principal aims of Introduction to Politics are to:

  • introduce students to the study of politics through discussion of the main issues and ideological perspectives;
  • introduce students to the core concepts used by political scientists and political theorists;
  • provide an introductory discussion of political and policy-making processes and of the political ideologies that inform them;
  • to consider the nature of, and prospects for, political transformation and the significance of these for the study of politics;
  • encourage students to link their own experiences of politics to the ways in which the subject is studied; and
  • to provide a venue for both discussion and debate and the development of presentation and communication skills.
Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Lectures will cover topics on 'What is Politics?'; 'Power & Authority'; 'Methods of Analysis'; 'Actors, Institutions & Ideas'; 'The State'; 'Democracy & Legitimacy'; 'Political Parties & Pressure Groups'; 'Depoliticisation'; 'Ideology'; 'Conservatism'; 'Liberalism'; 'Marxism'; 'Feminism'; 'Environmentalism'; 'Post-Truth & the Media'; 'Representation & Participation'; and 'Political Change & Revolution'.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Be able to identify and discuss critically several of the main theoretical perspectives and debates in political science
  • Have the knowledge foundation for more detailed and in-depth study of political theory, political processes, political institutions and political change in second and final year modules
  • Be able to write appropriately constructed essays in a critical and analytical fashion
  • Have developed enhanced study, independent learning, and communications skills
Indicative reading list

The general reading texts for this module are:

  1. Axford, B., Browning, G. K., Huggins, R., and Rosamond, B. (2002). Politics: An Introduction, 2nd edition. Routledge, London.
  2. Gamble, A. (2019), Politics: Why it Matters, Polity (available February 2019).
  3. Garner, R., Ferdinand, P., and Lawson, S. (2012), Introduction to Politics. Second Edition. OUP, Oxford.
  4. Goodwin, B. (2007). Using Political Ideas, 5th edition. Wiley, New York.
  5. Hay, C., (2002), Political Analysis: A Critical Introduction, Palgrave, London.
  6. Heywood, A. (2013), Politics, Fourth Edition. Palgrave, London.
  7. Marsh, D. and Stoker, G. (2010), Theory and Methods in Political Science, Third Edition. Palgrave, London.

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Interdisciplinary

Although students are introduced to key ideologies in politics, this is supplemented with concepts from sociology, economics, geography and history.

International

This module covers themes and issues relevant to understanding the politics of many different countries in the international system.

Subject specific skills
  1. Being able to identify, and analyse, the main issues and theoretical perspectives;
  2. Understanding of the core concepts used by political scientists and political theorists;
  3. Identify and evaluate political and policy-making processes, and the political ideologies that inform them;
  4. Be able to consider the nature of and prospects for political transformation and the significance of these for the study of politics;
Transferable skills
  1. Developing effective communication, both in written and spoken form, through the use of formative and assessed written work, examinations, seminar presentations and general seminar work;
  2. The use of problem-solving techniques that are included in seminar work, including group work, and research for formative and assessed work;
  3. The discerning use of the internet as a research tool in preparation for seminars and formative exercises;
  4. Development of the techniques of argument, writing and critical thinking;
  5. Working with others as part of group work exercises.

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 20 sessions of 1 hour (7%)
Seminars 20 sessions of 1 hour (7%)
Private study 260 hours (87%)
Total 300 hours
Private study description

TBC

Costs

No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group D1
Weighting Study time
Assessed Essay 40% 10 hours

2000-word essay

Online Examination 60% 14 hours
  • Online examination: No Answerbook required
Feedback on assessment

Exams and essays are marked according to criteria set out in the Undergraduate Handbook and students received written feedback from their tutors. Students are also encouraged to discuss essay and exam feedback with tutors during Advice & Feedback hours.

Past exam papers for PO107

Courses

This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of UECA-LM1D Undergraduate Economics, Politics and International Studies
  • Year 1 of UHIA-VM11 Undergraduate History and Politics
  • Year 1 of UPHA-V7ML Undergraduate Philosophy, Politics and Economics
  • Year 1 of UPOA-M100 Undergraduate Politics
  • Year 1 of UPOA-M16A Undergraduate Politics and International Studies
  • Year 1 of UPOA-M168 Undergraduate Politics and International Studies with Chinese
  • Year 1 of UPOA-M169 Undergraduate Politics and International Studies with Chinese (3 year)
  • Year 1 of UPOA-ML13 Undergraduate Politics and Sociology
  • Year 1 of UPOA-M163 Undergraduate Politics, International Studies and French
  • Year 1 of UPOA-M164 Undergraduate Politics, International Studies and German
  • Year 1 of UIPA-L2L8 Undergraduate Politics, International Studies and Global Sustainable Development
  • Year 1 of UPOA-M166 Undergraduate Politics, International Studies and Hispanic Studies
  • Year 1 of UPOA-M165 Undergraduate Politics, International Studies and Italian
  • Year 1 of UPOA-M162 Undergraduate Politics, International Studies and Quantitative Methods
  • Year 1 of UPHA-V7MW Undergraduate Politics, Philosophy and Law

This module is Optional for:

  • UECA-3 Undergraduate Economics 3 Year Variants
    • Year 1 of L100 Economics
    • Year 1 of L116 Economics and Industrial Organization
  • Year 1 of UECA-LM1D Undergraduate Economics, Politics and International Studies

This module is Option list B for:

  • USOA-L301 BA in Sociology
    • Year 1 of L305 Sociology with Specialism in Cultural Studies
    • Year 1 of L303 Sociology with Specialism in Gender Studies
    • Year 1 of L304 Sociology with Specialism in Research Methods
    • Year 1 of L302 Sociology with Specialism in Social Policy