Programme And Module Handbook
 
Programme Specification


Date Specification Approved 26/09/2014
College College Social Sciences
School Government
Department Political Sci & Intern'tl Stud
Partner College and School Philosophy
Collaborative Organisation and Form of Collaboration
Qualification and Programme Title B.A. Political Science and Philosophy with Year Abroad Full-time
Programme Code 9715
Delivery Location Campus
Language of Study English
Length of Programme 4 Year(s)
Accreditations This programme has no outside accreditations
Aims of the Programme The programmes aim to provide students with an understanding and appreciation of central areas of philosophy, its methods and history. It aims to engage their interest in and enthusiasm for issues of philosophy and to foster within them the skills distinctive of good philosophy in particular, the abilities to:
  • analyse abstract claims and arguments accurately,
  • present their own views verbally and in writing, clearly and with supporting argument
  • collaborate with others in the course of such analyses and presentations
The programmes aim to provide students with the opportunity to engage with the range of expertise and internationally recognized research undertaken in the Dept. of Philosophy. Through these various aims and provisions, the programmes will enrich the lives of students who take them, and will provide society with the resource of graduates who can think and express their thoughts in a clear and logical manner. Graduates equipped with these transferable skills as well as with the knowledge of the subject’s contents will be employed in a wide range of occupations.

Stage 1 is designed to offer students a broad foundation for the academic study of philosophy. Some of the modules are compulsory, focussing on broad themes and issues in key foundational areas of the subject. Philosophical methodology is emphasized in all of these modules, and also in special additional training sessions during the first semester.

Stage 2 is where students consolidate their philosophical skills and deepen their knowledge and understanding of the areas of philosophy that interest them most. To that end, a good amount of choice is offered across the two semesters, but not so much as to allow students to specialize in one area only. Towards the end of the stage, students who opt to write a dissertation at Stage 3 begin work on this - the Level H module, Philosophical Project – and through a programme of lectures, seminars and workshops connected to this, they further consolidate their analytical, presentational and team working skills.

Stage 3 provides students with even more choice, and with more specialized modules delivered by convenors who are actively engaged in germane cutting-edge research. The only compulsory module for JH students is for those who do not take a dissertation of similar independent student in their other subject: this is Philosophical Project, through which students write a 6000 word dissertation during Stage 3. This undertaking should, even more than the other modules at this level, help them to refine the research, analytical and presentational skills that characterize the programme as a whole. 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.

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 texts, theories and arguments of some of the major analytical philosophers, both past and present.
Some central theories and arguments in some of the core areas of analytical philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and moral and political philosophy.
Some theories and arguments that are the subject of current research in contemporary analytical philosophy
A range of techniques of philosophical reasoning, and how those techniques are brought to bear on philosophical theories and problems.
Basic logical notation and proof procedures, and of the most important ways in which those techniques inform analytic philosophy in general.
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
Lectures, tutorials, seminars discussion, independent study, close crucial reading of texts, the design and construction of essays and other assessments
Lectures, seminars, tutorials, presentations, individual and group project work
Exams, essays, coursework exercises, project work
Essays, unseen examinations, take-home examinations, individual presentations, group project/presentations, research outline and research project (dissertation)
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:
To interpret philosophical writing from a variety of ages and traditions
To analyse positions and arguments
To present cogent arguments in defence of their views, verbally and in writing
To understand and use a range of specialised philosophical terminology
To display independent understanding of philosophical views and arguments, and to work independently - including devising and researching pieces of philosophical writing of various lengths – and in groups
To communicate, and organise their studies, effectively
The capacity to be competent and effective users of IT resources for research purposes, word processing. Students will also be able to use IT communication tools effectively
Writing skills
Oral communication skills
Skills of critical analysis and argument
Group work
Time management
Independent research skills
Lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshop discussions (including, at Stage 1 and 2, sessions with explicitly methodological contents and sessions involving individual and group presentations), independent study, close reading of texts, the design and construction of essays and other assessments.
Lectures, seminars, tutorials, presentations, individual and group project work
Exams, essays, coursework exercises, project work (and as part of several modules, group presentations).

Word-processed assessments; evidence of appropriate use of web resources.
Methods of assessment include: Essays, unseen examinations, take-home examinations, individual presentations, group project/presentations, research outline and research project (dissertation)