British Government and Politics - JOUR3020

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Spring Term 4 15 (7.5) Ben Cocking checkmark-circle


This module provides an overview of the British political system, focusing on recent political and constitutional developments. It will investigate topics such as the roles of Parliament, the Prime Minister and Cabinet, political parties, and the electoral system. It will assess key issues facing democratic government and institutions within the UK, analysing for example the role of Europe, the challenges posed by devolution, the Treasury and the National Health Service. There will also be discussion of contemporary political behaviour, including the issue of political participation.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 24
Private Study Hours: 126
Total Study Hours: 150


BA (Hons) Journalism

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Essay (2,000 words) 40%
Seminar presentation - 20%
Examination: two hours - 40%

Reassessment methods


Indicative reading

Jones, B, 2010, Dictionary of British Politics, 2nd edn, Manchester University Press, Manchester
Jones, B and Norton, P, 2010, Politics UK, 7th edn, Pearson, Harlow
Judge, D, 2005, Political Institutions in the United Kingdom, Oxford University Press, Oxford
Kavanagh, D, et al., 2006, British Politics, 5th edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford
Leach, R, Coxall, B and Robins, L, 2011, British Politics, 2nd edn, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke
Moran, M, 2011, Politics and Governance in the UK, 2nd edn, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke
Morrison, J, 2013, Essential Public Affairs for Journalists. 3rd edn. Oxford University Press, Oxford
Peele, G, 2004, Governing the UK. British Politics in the 21st Century, 4th edn. Blackwell, Oxford

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Have an understanding of the basic principles of the British constitution, the functions of Britain's national political institutions and their role
in delivering accountable and representative outcomes.
2. Have an understanding of the electoral process, comparative electoral systems and the key issues facing electoral participation in a
modern democracy.
3. Have an appreciation of the advantages and disadvantages of the "Westminster model".
4. Be familiar with how a range of approaches can be used to investigate how British political systems work, and with what success.
5. Have an understanding of the structure and financing of public services including the National Health Service, and social services.
6. Understand the development and principles of British democracy and constitution in the era of universal suffrage.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Have an understanding of the key concepts and theories in the academic literature relating to British politics and journalism.
2. Have an awareness of current political issues.
3. Be able to implement research and writing skills in individual written work.
4. Be able to implement oral communication skills in group-study contexts.
5. Be able to exercise independent learning skills and organise study in an efficient and professional manner.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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