Programme And Module Handbook
Course Details in 2019/20 Session

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Module Title LC Introduction to Political Theory
Department Political Sci & Intern'tl Stud
Module Code 08 31384
Module Lead Dominic Welburn
Level Certificate Level
Credits 20
Restrictions None
Description This module introduces students of political science to the practice which is known as ‘political theory’. To do so it focuses upon the history of an activity. The module thereby allows students to consider a sequence of historical political thinkers and texts, whilst at each stage we ask: are their recommendations for political life either desirable or persuasive? Why should visions of political life differ so greatly? And are the problems of these historical thinkers still ‘our own’? In the process of introducing political theory by means of its historical development, students are provided with the capacity to begin to use a range of key concepts effectively (including ethics, sovereignty, constitutions, the common good, rights, tradition, liberty, exploitation, and power).
Learning Outcomes By the end of the module, students should be able to:
  • Know and be able to discuss the central themes, concepts and ideas in the early development of the central tradition of Western Political thought (from Plato to Rousseau)
  • Understand and assess the structure and significance of particular texts produced within this tradition and be able to illustrate problems involved in their interpretation
  • Be aware and illustrate the complexity, difficulty and contention associated with the activity of theorising
  • Be able to address a number of key questions in political theory with reference to texts and arguments introduced in the course.
Assessment 31384-01 : 1000 Word Book Report : Coursework (25%)
31384-02 : 3 Hour Exam : Exam (Centrally Timetabled) - Written Unseen (75%)
Assessment Methods & Exceptions Assessment: Book report (written): 1000 words, 25%; Exam: 3 hours, 75%
Reassessment: 3 hour examination
Reading List