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Unit information: Thinking Politically in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Thinking Politically
Unit code POLI10005
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Ashley Dodsworth
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit provides a thematic introduction to key themes in political science and international relations, organised around the delivery of key skills for all students on politics programmes.

The unit aims to:

  • Help students to successfully complete the transition from School to University
  • Help students to develop as independent learners
  • Introduce students to central conceptual, theoretical and empirical elements of political thinking
  • Familiarise students with key skills necessary to successfully complete a degree in Politics/International Relations

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

• Identify key debates in Political Science/International Relations

• Critically engage with central research themes in Political Science/International Relations

• Demonstrate critical thinking regarding conceptual, theoretical and empirical issues in Political Science IR

• Demonstrate writing and presentation skills required for Higher Education

Teaching details

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

Assessment Details

1500 word annotated bibliography (25%)

2000 word essay or speech with an accompanying explanation (75%).

Reading and References

  • Hoffman, J. and P. Graham (2009) Introduction to Political Theory. Harlow: Pearson Education
  • J. Bara & M. Pennington (eds) (2009), Comparative Politics, London, Sage
  • Jenny Edkins and Maja Zehfuss (eds) (2014), Global Politics: a New Introduction, London: Routledge, 2nd edn
  • Colin Hay, Political Analysis, (Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2002)
  • Tom Burns & Sandra Sinfield (2012), Essential study skills : the complete guide to success at university, London : SAGE ,3rd ed.