An Introduction to Politics for University Study - FOUN0031

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2022 to 2023.


Through this module, students will be given a broad introduction to the study of politics and international relations with particular emphasis on key debates within the discipline as well as contemporary events. Students will be introduced to the contested nature of politics before moving on to consider how political systems are formed, what major ideas are that drive them as well as the question of how we compare political systems. This will deepen into an examination of political ideologies as well as the role of the state and the nation.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 44
Private study hours: 106
Total Study hours: 150

Method of assessment

Essay (1200 words) (30%)
Annotated bibliography (min. 10 references) (10%)
In-course Test (10%)
Exam (2 hours) (50%)

JYA English Plus alternative assessment in lieu of exam
Written Assignment (1500 words) (50%)

Reassessment methods
Reassessment Instrument: 100% coursework (JYA English Plus 100% coursework)

Indicative reading

Bayliss, J., Smith, S. & Owens, P. (Eds.) (2017) The Globalization of World Politics. (7th Edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Boucher, D. and Kelly, P. (Eds.) (2017) Political Thinkers: From Socrates to the Present. (3rd Edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press

Heywood, A. (2019) Politics. (5th Edition). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Heywood, A. (2015) Key Concepts in Politics and International Relations. (2nd Edition). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hill, C. and Smith, M. (2017) International Relations and the European Union. (New European Union). (3rd Edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Specific Learning Outcomes:

Identify some of the main debates and issues in political studies.

Understand a range of approaches to forming and classifying political systems

Recognise some of the major classic and contemporary political ideologies.

Identify some of the key aspects of the machinery of government, including the legislature, executive and judiciary.

Generic Learning Outcomes:

Benefit from their enhanced academic reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.

Apply their critical awareness, critical-thinking and analytical skills more effectively.

Enhance their written communication skills.

Appreciate some of the norms, strictures and demands of subject specific seminars and lectures in a UK education context.

Demonstrate an enhanced understanding of the importance of independent study within a UK higher education context


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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