American Political Institutions

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
07 January 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

American Political Institutions is designed to promote strong analytic thinking with respect to political institutions in the United States (e.g. Congress, Presidency, Electoral Campaigns, etc.). Students should be reasonably familiar with the American political system so that these topics can be studied in more depth than a general introduction class.

Module aims

After taking the class, students should be able to have a strong working knowledge of the American political system, and they should also be able to understand how research takes place within each topic area.

Module learning outcomes

• Students will gain an understanding of the role of political institutions in shaping the dynamics of American government, public policy, and political behavior.
• Students will learn about a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of American institutions.
• Students will learn to think critically and analytically both about American institutions themselves and the bodies of research that seek to understand these institutions.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

The module will be structured with a mix of lecture and in-depth class discussions of weekly topics. As such, it is required that students come to class prepared, having completed all assigned readings for the week they are assigned and having thought critically about the arguments and evidence presented in the readings. Students should pay close attention to the research methods used to test hypotheses and support theories, why the authors chose such methods, and whether the methods present a reasonable test of theory.


This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Essay 1   13/02/2020  25% 
Coursework   Research Question  05/03/2020  5% 
Coursework   Essay 2  26/03/2020  25% 
Coursework   Essay 3   23/04/2020  40% 
Practical   Participation    5% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Ryan Bakker, email: r.bakker@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Ryan Bakker rb19929@essex.ac.uk @essex.ac.uk)



External examiner

Dr Arzu Kibris
University of Warwick
Associate Professor
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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