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MA Public Opinion and Polling

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  • Objectives
    To develop specific knowledge about theories and empirical evidence relating to mass public opinion in advanced democracies; To develop a thorough grounding in the major theoretical approaches to analysing public opinion; To learn to evaluate theoretical claims in the light of appropriate empirical evidence; To prepare to undertake independent research, grounded in the discipline and employing primary (quantitative or qualitative) data; To prepare to undertake further research or future employment in the polling industry; To develop an understanding of the interplay between methods, theories and evidence in the public opinion field.
  • 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 Public Opinion and Polling
  • Course description

    Course Description
    The MA in Public Opinion and Polling introduces students to the latest research on the nature and dynamics of public opinion. As well as examining the variations in opinion across the electorate, it looks at how citizens acquire information and use it to understand the political world.

    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: POLITICAL BEHAVIOUR
        CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL THEORY
        CONTEMPORARY THEORIES OF JUSTICE
        Core: DISSERTATION - MA SCHEMES
        Core: POLITICAL EXPLANATION
        Core: THE ANALYSIS OF PUBLIC OPINION
        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 PRINCIPLES, HUMAN RIGHTS AND PUBLIC POLICY
        POLITICAL THEORY
        POLITICS IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD
        RATIONAL CHOICE THEORIES OF POLITICS
        RESEARCH SEMINAR IN POLITICAL THEORY AND METHODS
        RULE AND RESISTANCE: POLITICAL THEMES IN LITERATURE AND FILM
        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 public opinion 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 the analysis of public opinion.
        A5 : Systematic knowledge of the relevant sources of information.
        A6 : Knowledge of the design, implementation, processing and analysis of public opinion surveys

        Teaching Methods
        A1-5 Lectures, computer laboratory sessions, participation in and presentations to seminars and classes, writing essays and dissertation, oral and written feedback on essays.

        A1 specifically in GV917: The Analysis of Public Opinion

        A2 specifically in GV900 Political Explanation

        A3 specifically in GV900, GV917 and in supervision of individual dissertations

        A4 specifically in option chosen in consultation with Scheme Director.

        A5 specifically in independent learning and dissertation.

        A6 specifically in GV917: The Analysis of Public Opinion.

        Assessment Methods
        Outcomes A1-A5 are assessed through coursework. Coursework includes oral presentations, assignments, class tests and essays. In addition, the assessed work includes a dissertation.

    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

        B3 especially in supervised dissertation.

        B4 especially in GV900 Political Explanation and GV917.

        B8 especially in dissertation.

        Assessment Methods
        B1-8. Written assignments and essays, written examinations and 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 group seminars and classes, individual guidance for essayst and 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, in class tests, 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 : Understand the use of quantitative evidence.
        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.

        D3 specifically in GV900 Political Explanation and GV917.

        D4 specifically in scheduling and balancing requirements for four courses taught in parallel. Working with other people in a commercial or public sector environment.

        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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