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MA Political Theory

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  • Objectives
    To develop a systematic knowledge and understanding of the conceptual foundations of the discipline of political science; To promote the critical use of evidence, and the effective application of methods of political analysis; To develop a capacity for independent study and research, including a critical awareness of research design; In some cases, to provide the opportunity, through a range of options, to study sub-disciplinary and/or area-oriented fields in depth; To develop a capacity to make coherent and reflective argument, and to present and communicate ideas effectively; To enhance the analytical and evaluative skills required for personal and professional development, and for successful employment or further study.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry Qualifications BA degree of Upper Second class standard or above. For students whose native language is not English, the usual minimum language entry requirement is either an IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL iBT 88; Cambridge Proficiency of English C or above.
  • Academic Title
    MA Political Theory
  • Course description

    Course Description
    The MA in Political Theory offers a critical survey of modern political theories: empirical and normative. Students can choose various options which include: human rights and political theory, ideology and political discourse.

    Modules and Options

    The lists of modules below represent the range of options available for each year of study. This may not be a complete list of the options you will study, and may be subject to change, so please contact the department for further details.

    Stage 1

        BRITISH POLITICAL PARTIES
        COMPARATIVE POLITICS OF CENTRAL EUROPE
        COMPARATIVE POLITICS OF HUMAN RIGHTS
        Compulsory: CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL THEORY
        CONTEMPORARY THEORIES OF JUSTICE
        Core: DISSERTATION - MA SCHEMES
        Core: POLITICAL THEORY
        Core: RESEARCH SEMINAR IN POLITICAL THEORY AND METHODS
        DEMOCRACY BEYOND THE NATION STATE? THE CASE OF EUROPE
        DEMOCRACY, CITIZENSHIP AND CONSTITUTIONS
        EUROPEAN INTEGRATION
        EUROPEAN POLITICS
        GLOBAL AND COMPARATIVE POLITICS
        GLOBALISATION AND WORLD POLITICS: APPROACHES, ORIGINS, TRENDS
        HUMAN RIGHTS AND POLITICAL THEORY
        HUMAN RIGHTS IN POST-COMMUNIST DEMOCRACIES
        IDEOLOGY AND POLITICAL DISCOURSE
        INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS
        INTERNATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES
        POLITICAL BEHAVIOUR
        POLITICAL EXPLANATION
        POLITICAL PRINCIPLES, HUMAN RIGHTS AND PUBLIC POLICY
        POLITICS IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD
        RATIONAL CHOICE THEORIES OF POLITICS
        RULE AND RESISTANCE: POLITICAL THEMES IN LITERATURE AND FILM
        THE ANALYSIS OF PUBLIC OPINION
        THEORIES OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

    Teaching and Assessment Methods
       
    A: Knowledge and Understanding
        Learning Outcomes
        A1 : Advanced knowledge of different modes of explanation and theoretical perspectives in political science and political theory at an appropriate level.
        A2 : Understanding of the main quantitative methods used in political analysis.
        A3 : Critical awareness of the use of evidence in political science.
        A4 : Knowledge of the main research findings, and main developments and debates in one or more sub-disciplinary or area-oriented fields.
        A5 : Systematic knowledge of the relevant sources of information.
        A6 : Systematic knowledge of different modes of explanation and theoretical styles in contemporary political theory.
        A7 : Understanding of the main qualitative methods used in political theory and analysis.
        A8 : Systematic knowledge of philosophical foundations of social science.

        Teaching Methods
        A1-8 Lectures, participation in and presentations to seminars and classes, writing essays and dissertation, oral and written feedback on essays.

        A1 specifically in GV958 Contemporary Political Theory.

        A2 specifically in GV900 Political Explanation.

        A3 specifically in GV900, GV909, GV958 and in supervision of individual dissertations.

        A4 specifically in options chosen in consultation with Scheme Director.

        A6 specifically in GV908 Political Theory.

        A7 and A8 specifically in GV909 Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods.

        Assessment Methods
        Taught modules assessed 50/50 by continuous assessment through written assignments and essays, and three-hour closed examinations at end of the modules.

        The Research Seminar (GV909) and core Political Theory module (GV908) are assessed 100% by continuous assessment through written essays.

    B: Intellectual/Cognitive Skills
        Learning Outcomes
        B1 : To question received thinking.
        B2 : To develop independent thinking.
        B3 : To muster evidence.
        B4 : To evaluate and analyse evidence.
        B5 : To reason critically.
        B6 : To argue coherently and concisely.
        B7 : To communicate ideas effectively in writing.
        B8 : To carry out independent research.

        Teaching Methods
        B1-7. Participation in and presentations to seminars and classes, individual guidance on researching and writing essays, oral and written feedback on essays, individual interviews and group sessions with Study Skills Officer

        B4 especially in GV900 Political Explanation and GV909 Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods.

        Assessment Methods
        B1-7. Written assignments, essays, dissertation, and written examinations.

        B8 Dissertation.

    C: Practical Skills
        Learning Outcomes
        C1 : Organize and structure an extended argument.
        C2 : Use concepts correctly.
        C3 : Compile systematic bibliographies.
        C4 : Provide references according to accepted conventions.
        C5 : Use libraries and IT to access information and scholarly resources.
        C6 : Sift and synthesize complex information.

        Teaching Methods
        C1-6. Participation in and presentations to seminars and classes, individual guidance for essays, individual supervision of dissertations, oral and written feedback on class presentations and essays.

        C5 specifically in induction sessions for library use.

        Assessment Methods
        C1-6. Written assignments and essays, closed examinations, supervised dissertation.

        C1 especially in dissertation.

        C2 essays, examinations, and dissertation.

        C3-6 specifically in essays and dissertation.

    D: Key Skills
        Learning Outcomes
        D1 : Clear, focused, relevant and effective expression and communication.
        D2 : Access and organise information from a variety of electronic sources.
        D3 : Students will acquire advanced knowledge and understanding of the development of economic integration in Europe.
        D4 : To manage projects and timetables. To find, understand and organise information. To work with ideas.
        D5 : Students will acquire advanced knowledge and understanding of the development of economic integration in Europe.
        D6 : Positive response to feedback and criticism.

        Teaching Methods
        D1-5. Participation in and presentations to seminars and classes, written assignments and essays, dissertation.


        D4 specifically in scheduling and balancing requirements for four courses taught in parallel.

        D6 specifically in individual guidance on essays, oral and written feedback on essays.

        Assessment Methods
        D1-4. Written assignments and essays, examinations, dissertation.

        D6 classroom presentations, written assignments and essays.

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