British Public Affairs - JOUR8050

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 7 30 (15) 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: 36
Private Study Hours: 264
Total Study Hours: 300


MA Multimedia Journalism (compulsory module)

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Essay (3,000 words) – 30%
Seminar participation – 20%
Examination (3 hrs) – 50%

Reassessment methods
Like for like

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. Show detailed 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. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of electoral processes, and the key issues facing electoral participation in a modern democracy.
3. Demonstrate a comprehensive appreciation of the advantages and disadvantages of the "Westminster model".
4. Show a critical understanding of how a range of approaches can be used to investigate how British political systems work, and with what success, and have some understanding of comparative systems.
5. Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the structure and financing of public services..
6. Understand the development and principles of British democracy and constitution in the era of universal suffrage.
7. Demonstrate a critical awareness of current political issues.
8. Show detailed understanding of the key concepts and theories in the academic literature relating to British politics and journalism.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Comprehensively implement research and writing skills in individual written work.
2. Communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and/or using a variety of methods
3. Exercise independent learning skills and organise study in an efficient and professional manner.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  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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