Masters Modules.

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Understanding Politics.

This core module introduces you to the dominant analytical and methodological traditions in politics (broadly understood as ‘positivism’ and ‘interpretivism’) and to the different ontological, epistemological, and methodological implications of each tradition for the study of politics. The module will require you to consider explicitly your approach to the study of politics, and understand both its strengths and weaknesses.

By studying this module, you will be able to articulate coherently your understanding of what the discipline of politics entails, and what you consider to be the most appropriate way of studying and researching politics. As such, this module is an essential precursor to you specific programme and to your dissertation.


This module is typically taught through a series interactive workshops. Students are encouraged to discuss questions with each other in small groups and to present their answers to the class. Students will express their views through a range of methods including clickers, Padlet, and mindmaps.


The module is typically assessed through coursework. It includes a critical reflection piece on a journal article and a longer essay that analyses a chosen approach to doing politics.