BA Politics and Arabic

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Introduction to Political Theory

Course unit fact file
Unit code POLI10702
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The course is designed to introduce and study a range of concepts that are central to politics, and to outline the application of these concepts to a range of political issues. The course will also introduce students to a range of major authors in the western tradition of political thought.
A number of key themes of modern political theory will be explored: Why do some persons have the right to rule over others? Why should citizens obey the law? How far is government compatible with the liberty of the individual? What makes for a just law? What rights do individuals have against the state? In the language of political theory these are questions about power, authority, legitimacy, rights, duties, liberty, justice, freedom and equality.

Learning outcomes

By blending the conceptual approach to political theory with both elements of the history of ideas and the application of ideas to political issues, the course will allow students to gain an understanding of the key principles and ideas of political thought. As a result, you will be able to subject political thinking to critical analysis and to gain an understanding of both its historical context and relevance to contemporary politics. You will be encouraged to develop your own views through careful reading and discussion with others in tutorials.

Teaching and learning methods


Assessment methods

One 1 hour exam: 34%

One 2000-word essay: 66%

Feedback methods

Politics staff will provide feedback on written work within 15 working days of submission.

Students should be aware that all marks are provisional until confirmed by the external examiner and the final examinations boards in June.

For modules that do not have examination components the marks and feedback for the final assessed component are not subject to the 15 working day rule and will be released with the examination results.

You will receive feedback on assessed essays in a standard format. This will rate your essay in terms of various aspects of the argument that you have presented your use of sources and the quality of the style and presentation of the essay. If you have any queries about the feedback that you have received you should make an appointment to see your tutor.

On assessments submitted through Turnitin you will receive feedback via Blackboard. This will include suggestions about ways in which you could improve your work in future. You will also receive feedback on non-assessed coursework, whether this is individual or group work. This may be of a more informal kind and may include feedback from peers as well as academic staff

Recommended reading

Wolff, J. (2006) An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Revised Edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bellamy, R. and Mason A. (eds.) (2003) Political Concepts, Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Clara Sandelind Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Length of course: 12 weeks


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