Making Sense of Politics - POLI3350

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 4 30 (15) Raluca Popp checkmark-circle


This module introduces students to the empirical study of the key structures, institutions, processes, outcomes and behaviour in political systems. It familiarises students with both the content and shape of political life and how academic scholars study it. But it also introduces the data, methods and techniques that allow students to study it themselves. Students learn about political life by learning how to do basic political research.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 44
Private study: 256
Total study hours: 300


Available as an elective module.

Method of assessment

Online quizzes (10 x 5% = 50%)
Essay – 2500 Words (50%)

Reassessment instrument: 100% coursework reassessment

Indicative reading

Peter Ferdinand, Robert Garner, Stephanie Lawson, Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018)
Sandra Halperin, Oliver Heath, Political Research: Methods and Practical Skills (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2nd ed. 2016)
Vivien Lowndes, David Marsh, Gerry Stoker (eds), Theory and Methods in Political Science (London: Palgrave, 4th ed. 2018)
Rod Hague, Martin Harrop, John McCormick, Comparative Government and Politics: An Introduction (London: Palgrave, 11th ed. 2019)
Andrew Gamble, Politics: Why it matters (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2019)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
explain what the study of politics entails
describe the main aspects of political systems, including structures and institutions
explain how citizens tend to behave in different sorts of political systems
explain and evaluate key approaches to studying politics
investigate political questions, including identifying evidence and utilising basic statistical techniques


  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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