Programme And Module Handbook
 
Programme Specification


Date Specification Approved 26/09/2014
College College Social Sciences
School School of Govt and Society
Department Political Sci & Intern'tl Stud
Partner College and School
Collaborative Organisation and Form of Collaboration
Qualification and Programme Title B.A. Political Science and Sociology with Year Abroad Full-time
Programme Code 2065
Delivery Location Campus
Language of Study English
Length of Programme 4 Year(s)
Accreditations This programme has no outside accreditations
Aims of the Programme Political Science

The development of students' political analysis skills is central to the Birmingham Political Science degree. Core modules at each level have been designed progressively to develop them. They are then applied and developed in a range of optional modules. Core 'research' modules at levels one and two also help to draw out and emphasise the generic applications of these skills. The core 'research' and 'analysis' modules are designed to prepare students for their final year dissertations, to which the department attaches considerably significance, reflected in its weight in the final degree result.

The degree offers a comprehensive, rigorous introduction to Sociology as a theoretically informed and evidence based discipline. The programme has a strong theoretical core at each level which critically examines the major sociological traditions and perspectives as tools for understanding modern societies. This is paralleled by training in the analysis of empirical sociological research, the design of research programmes and the methods for collecting, interpreting and presenting sociological data. Students are able to apply their core theoretical and empirical training in the critical and comparative analysis of major substantive sociological topics. These include patterns of social divisions such as those of gender, ethnicity and social class. Students approach these issues by pursuing the distinctively sociological questions of the relationships between individuals, groups, institutions and wider social processes; the dynamics of stability and change and the distribution of power. Students complete their degree by designing and undertaking their own substantial piece of sociological research. This brings together their theoretical, methodological and substantive skills and knowledge and is an opportunity to demonstrate the achievement of a skilled, critical and reflexive sociological imagination.
Programme Outcomes
Students are expected to have Knowledge and Understanding of: Which will be gained through the following Teaching and Learning methods: and assessed using the following methods:
The scope and contested nature of politics and political science
(Various) foundations of and approaches to political analysis
The broad range and historical development of political thought and theory
Relevant research methodologies
The process of conducting research
Specialist areas of politics
The character of Sociology as a discipline that is both theoretically informed and evidence based
The major sociological traditions and perspectives and critical responses to them
The method of critical comparative analysis
The analytical issues of the relationship between individuals, groups and institutions and the processes that underpin stability and change
The substantive issues of the origins and consequences of social diversity, divisions and inequalities, especially as they relate to ethnicity, gender and class
The nature and appropriate use of research strategies and methods in sociological research
Some cutting-edge debates in contemporary Sociology
Lectures, seminars, tutorials, presentations, individual and group project work
Lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, presentations, student-led discussion groups, group project work
Essays, unseen examinations, take-home examinations, individual presentations, group project/presentations, research outline and research project (dissertation)
Essays, unseen examinations, tailored tasks for the assessment of methods, student-led dissertation project (at Stage 3)
Students are expected to have attained the following Skills and other Attributes: Which will be gained through the following Teaching and Learning methods: and assessed using the following methods:
Writing skills
Oral communication skills
Skills of critical analysis and argument
Group work
Time management
Independent research skills
The ability to work individually and in groups
The ability to work flexibly and creatively, demonstrating independence and reflexivity
The ability to source, summarise, and critically engage with the existing theoretical and empirical material on a subject and deploy this, where appropriate, in constructing arguments
The ability to formulate research questions, select appropriate research tools, recognise ethical issues and collect and interpret sociological data
The ability to work to a given length, format, brief and deadline, properly referencing sources and ideas and making use, as appropriate, of a problem solving approach
Presentation skills and audience awareness
The ability to explore cutting-edge sociological debates, drawing upon the range of personal skills developed
Lectures, seminars, tutorials, presentations, individual and group project work
Seminars based upon critical analysis and debate, workshops, demonstrations, skills training sessions, dissertation workshops, practical training exercises, student-led discussion groups
Methods of assessment include: Essays, unseen examinations, take-home examinations, individual presentations, group project/presentations, research outline and research project (dissertation)
Essays, unseen examinations, tailored tasks for the assessment of methods, student-led dissertation project (at Stage 3)