Module
descriptions

for Liberal Studies (Political Science)

Theory and Practice in Political Science

This module aims to introduce students to the conceptual and practical challenges of governance in the 21st Century. Following the manner in which political, social, technological, economic, and cultural forces have co-evolved to shape the functions of power and structures of governance throughout history, it introduces students to key theoretical frameworks for exploring political phenomena and critically assessing dominant doctrines.

Introduction to Political Ideologies

This module aims to introduce students to the major political ideologies which have shaped the modern world. We will establish a clear conceptual framework for the study of political ideologies and learn some of the various methods of political classification.

The module will investigate the extent to which political ideologies varied in their expression, both chronologically and geographically, and at the various points of tension within them. We will investigate the major political ideologies of the western world: conservatism, liberalism and socialism. We will also study the forces of nationalism and fascism, as well anarchism, fascism, feminism and religious fundamentalism. By the end of the module, you will be familiar with the shape of these ideologies and be able to talk eloquently about their origins and nature.

Introduction to Comparative Politics

The Introduction to Comparative Politics module introduces students to core issues, theories and methods of political science. The module focuses on comparative political systems, such as regime types, institutions and parties. It highlights the emergence of democracies in the international system and compares this method of governance to other political arrangements. Students are introduced to various countries and case studies where they study the development of institutions and the impact of cultural norms, the organisation of the state and the behaviour of its participants.

Topics may include state-formation, political participation, the role of institutions, violence, nationalism, ethnic identity, federalism and other systems. This module aims to develop comparative analytic skills and provide a theoretical framework for students to engage in independent research.

Society and Mass Violence

This module will introduce the theories related to the phenomenon of mass violence. This subject will be explored through multidisciplinary perspectives.0 The purpose of this module is to study the phenomenon of mass violence and the impact on its victims and its perpetrators.

The module will focus on distinguishing between various forms of mass violence, such as genocide, and conditions which contribute to the occurrence of mass violence. A combination of psychological, sociological, and cultural perspectives will be examined, as well as other theory. The module will encourage students to incorporate theory, the wider context within which mass violence occurs, and factors specific to each particular event.

Energy Security

Energy security refers to questions of risk and security of supply as well as volatility in energy prices, and to supplies that are dependable and not subject to unexpected disruptions. Global Energy Security is concerned with the interests of both supplier and producer countries, even though these groups certainly differ in their preferences regarding the terms on which energy should be traded.

We study arrangements, institutions and policies that can contribute to energy security. The aim of this module is, therefore, to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the role of energy in the global economy, and to provide them with analytic tools to comprehend the complex dynamics of global energy markets.

The Politics of Gender

The module will examine the experiences and agency of women leading up to, during and post-conflict. Class will mainly cover conflicts since 1914; however, there will be special emphasis on conflicts since the 1990s.We will discuss feminist theory and frame the module under feminist international relations theory.

Additionally, we will include a political economy approach to our analysis, and especially relating to post conflict societies. Topics covered will include: war as gendered phenomenon, gender-based violence, sexual violence, rape as a weapon of war, peacekeeping, the rise of sex industries, refugees, migration, female combatants, demilitarisation, peace processes, militarised peace-building, transitional justice and post-conflict reconstruction.

Special emphasis will be placed on progress made since the international recognition of the relationship between women, peace and security highlighted in UN Security Council Resolutions. As such, the role of international organisations in mitigating conflicts will serve as a feature, and especially in implementing gender mainstreaming processes.

Research Methods for Political Science

Research Methods for Political Science will introduce students to the theory and practice of social research. The module focuses primarily on research methods and methodologies pertinent to political science, but will also engage with topics in sociology, human rights, and international relations. Students will learn about research methodology; design; analysis and output. The module will provide students with the skills and confidence necessary to conduct original research about a variety of issues in political science.

NGOs and Civil Society

This module provides an introduction into the complex world of NGOs and the environment in which they operate. The focus will be placed on four distinct categories of NGOs: Advocacy and Lobbying NGOs, Humanitarian Aid NGOs, Technical Assistance NGOs and Think Tanks. The concept of civil society historically and in its present day manifestation will be another main focus of the module.The aim of this module is to introduce students to primary types of international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and understand the key skills and knowledge that enable the success of their personnel.

The module will explore theories of civil society, globalisation, and other political science theories in relation to NGOs. The module will incorporate discussion and critical evaluation of the roles and activities of NGOs in international affairs, as well as evaluating the consequences of the political and moral choices of NGOs.

Crime and Society

Crime and Society introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of deviance and criminal behaviour. It outlines key theories in criminology, sociology, and political science in particular giving students the opportunity to examine crime and victimisation from multiple perspectives.

Students will analyse the social and psychological impact of violence on individual victims and vulnerable groups in different countries. They will produce persuasive arguments and written work informed by academic journals, books, and government reports. In so doing, they will demonstrate understanding of judicial processes and social and political responses to crime.

Global Human Trafficking

The Global Human Trafficking module explores topics pertaining to human trafficking, such as globalisation, international crime, gender, national and international policy and NGO campaigns. It aims to familiarise students with the political, socio-economic, and global context of human trafficking and modern slavery.

The module takes an interdisciplinary approach, and enables students to critically assess human trafficking from a range of perspectives, including slavery, migration, human rights and international law, international crime, and the notion of work in a globalised economy. It offers students the opportunity to critically analyse historical and contemporary events, and situating such events in a theoretical and policy framework. Students are required to undertake a project in the field of human trafficking, through which they develop skills in research and analysis, and learn to synthesise a variety of contexts of a given situation.

Theory & Practice of Social Enterprise

The module focuses on how can one innovate and develop creative solutions for social problems? This role, traditionally held by governments, has been increasingly taken up by individuals motivated by the desire for change. Economic, social and technological shifts have facilitated the emergence of a new breed of social activists, bringing an entrepreneurial spirit and culture into the societal realm.

While examples of social entrepreneurship cover a highly varied range of projects, they all share one thing – the complex systemic nature of their challenges. Taking them on requires a new set of tools for both analysis and action. This module introduces students to new case studies and theories of social entrepreneurship, inspiring them to change their worlds.

British Politics

This module aims to allow students to study the British political system in depth. By the end of the module students will have familiarised themselves with the origins and functioning of the parliamentary system, the ideologies and structure of the main political parties and the most significant contemporary political and constitutional issues.

Class will engage with the evolution and functioning of the parliamentary system. Students will examine the way in which debates have been formed and influenced by the main British political traditions, especially Conservatism, Liberalism and Socialism. The module will also familiarise you with the nature of the party system and the way this has evolved in recent years as well as studying constitutional change and the nature of the legislative process.

European Politics: Integration & Polarisation

This module will introduce students to an academic study of international politics with particular emphasis on the European Union. The module will focus on processes of integration. However, this will be one of the focuses as other processes in European politics are going to be introduced to students. Diversity of political processes and options will provide material for study of polarisation in international politics. This module will provide opportunity for discussions and examinations of theories of integration and nationalism and how the two processes correlate to each other. Classes will be a mixture of lectures and seminars.

Globalisation and Individual Lives

In this module students will develop an understanding of how global trends influence and penetrate social worlds and individual lives, and engage in a range of debates about constructing new forms of identity, especially with regards to themes such as gender, race, class, citizenship, religion or consumerism. Political and social issues will be explored from a range of theoretical political and sociological perspectives, and within an interdisciplinary approach. Students will be required to use the above knowledge to study and analyze these complex themes and situations within a theoretical, historical and global context.

 

Major Capstone (Dissertation)

The purpose of this module is to bring together the breadth of a Liberal Arts student’s learning and experience to bear on a major project. Starting from the student’s major area of study the project will reach out to incorporate elements from the totality of learning on the programme and the realisation of the breadth that a Liberal Arts graduate has achieved. The Capstone can take the form of a reflective practice-based project or a traditional written dissertation subject to meeting the word-length equivalencies below. The Capstone will run over two semesters and will be supervised by a minimum of one supervisor although two may be allocated depending on the nature of the work.