GV917-7-AU-CO:
Public Opinion and Political Behaviour: Theories and Issues

The details
2023/24
Government
Colchester Campus
Autumn
Postgraduate: Level 7
Current
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
15
20 April 2023

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

GV967

Key module for

MA L20712 Public Opinion and Political Behaviour,
MA L207EB Public Opinion and Political Behaviour,
MA L207EK Public Opinion and Political Behaviour,
MSC L20712 Public Opinion and Political Behaviour,
MSC L207EB Public Opinion and Political Behaviour,
MSC L207EK Public Opinion and Political Behaviour

Module description

The module introduces students to the latest theoretical debates about the nature and significance of public opinion and political behaviour.


The course examines issues as described below:



  • How do we understand public opinion and political behaviour?

  • How do citizens acquire information and convert it into opinions?

  • Given that it is rational for individuals not to invest too much in acquiring political knowledge, how do they manage to learn what they know?

  • How does political information and public opinion influence political behaviour?

Module aims

The aims of this module are:



  • To introduce students to the latest theoretical debates about the nature, significance, measurement and analysis of public opinion.

  • To provide the theoretical background, up-to-date academic findings, and working knowledge needed to undertake surveys of public opinion. These are required by anyone seeking employment in polling and market research industry or who wishes to conduct further research in the fields of political attitudes and behaviour.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students should have:



  1. A good working knowledge of the latest theoretical debates about the nature and dynamics of public opinion and political behaviour

  2. An understanding of the processes of opinion formation, the nature of public reasoning about political issues and interpersonal influences on opinion


The intended learning outcomes and key skills are:



  1. Communications – oral presentations; writing clearly and working to a deadline

  2. Collaboration – interacting with others in academic debates

  3. Information Technology – online searching, word processing, statistical analysis

Module information

The module will cover the following topics:



  • History and the origins of public opinion

  • Theoretical approaches to political behaviour

  • Public opinion, political attitudes, and survey responses

  • Citizen competence and political knowledge

  • Political reasoning and misinformation

  • The formation and development of the political self: Genes, personality, and socialization

  • Models of voting behaviour

  • Media and political campaign

  • Social media and political behaviour

  • Public opinion and public policy

Learning and teaching methods

The module will be delivered via:

Two-hour weekly seminars (x 10 weeks).

The seminar will engage students in interactive discussions and group study skills. The seminar also includes student presentations. It will foster critical thinking, problem solving, collaborative learning and oral communication.

Bibliography

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Class presentation    10% 
Coursework   Essay  30/11/2023  40% 
Coursework   Research proposal  21/12/2023  50% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Seonghui Lee, email: s.lee@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Seonghui Lee
Module Supervisor: Seonghui Lee, s.lee@essex.ac.uk

 

Availability
Yes
No
No

External examiner

Dr Damien Bol
King's College London
Senior Lecturer
Resources
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), module, or event type.

 

Further information
Government

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