GV958-7-FY-CO:
Theory and Explanation in Political Science

The details
2019/20
Government
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Postgraduate: Level 7
Current
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
30
26 September 2019

 

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

 

(none)

Key module for

MA L24012 Global and Comparative Politics,
MA L240EK Global and Comparative Politics,
MSC L24012 Global and Comparative Politics,
MSC L240EK Global and Comparative Politics,
MRESL25024 International Relations,
MSC L25012 International Relations,
MRESL20624 Political Economy,
MA L20012 Political Science,
MSC L20012 Political Science,
MA L20712 Public Opinion and Political Behaviour,
MA L207EK Public Opinion and Political Behaviour,
MSC L20712 Public Opinion and Political Behaviour,
MSC L207EK Public Opinion and Political Behaviour,
MRESL20024 Political Science,
MA L24512 United States Politics

Module description

It introduces students to different ways to model social phenomenon, the assumptions that political scientists make when analysing politics, and different topics that contemporary political science addresses. No single module can offer a complete picture of the discipline, but the course tries to cover material from a wide variety of angles, viewpoints, and approaches.

Module aims

This module aims to provide students with an overview of how political scientists and study the social world and the types of questions they ask.

Objectives:
The objectives of the module are to:
• Introduce students to different models of scientific thought within contemporary social and political science
• Introduce common assumptions political scientists make when studying social phenomena
• Introduce core substantive topics and texts within the discipline

Learning Outcomes:
• Students should learn to think like social science researchers
• Students should become familiar with the models and methods used by modern political science
• Students should be gain familiarity with the types of questions and topics addressed by modern political science

Key Skills:
• Learn to read core political science texts quickly and extract key points of information from them.
• Learn to concisely summarize and write about key concepts in political science
• Learn to develop questions of interest to modern political science
• Learn to structure a political science research paper

Module learning outcomes

Learning Outcomes:
• Students should learn to think like social science researchers
• Students should become familiar with the models and methods used by modern political science
• Students should be gain familiarity with the types of questions and topics addressed by modern political science

Module information

This module aims to provide students with an overview of how political scientists and study the social world and the types of questions they ask.

Objectives:
The objectives of the module are to:
• Introduce students to different models of scientific thought within contemporary social and political science
• Introduce common assumptions political scientists make when studying social phenomena
• Introduce core substantive topics and texts within the discipline

Learning Outcomes:
• Students should learn to think like social science researchers
• Students should become familiar with the models and methods used by modern political science
• Students should be gain familiarity with the types of questions and topics addressed by modern political science

Key Skills:
• Learn to read core political science texts quickly and extract key points of information from them.
• Learn to concisely summarize and write about key concepts in political science
• Learn to develop questions of interest to modern political science
• Learn to structure a political science research paper

Learning and teaching methods

The module involves a two-hour compulsory seminar. Discussion predominates and so class participation is crucial. You will be expected to have read the material for class, and to be prepared to engage in discussion on it, examining particular passages, fielding questions and concerns, and engaging in debate over the political implications of various arguments. The quality of discussion in class depends on you. If you and your fellow students are well prepared you are likely to enjoy the class discussion, to benefit from it, and to succeed in the module.

Bibliography

  • Zaller, John. (1992) The nature and origins of mass opinion, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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 Weighting
Coursework Essay 1 21/11/2019 25%
Coursework Essay 2 27/02/2020 25%
Coursework Research Paper Topic 12/03/2020 10%
Coursework Research Paper 23/04/2020 40%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Laura Sudulich
Module Supervisor Dr Laura Sudulich l.sudulich@essex.ac.uk or Module Administrator Jamie Seakens (govpgquery@essex.ac.uk)

 

Availability
Yes
No
Yes

External examiner

Dr Patrick Bayer
University of Glasgow
Lecturer in International Relations
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 40 hours, 40 (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
Government

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