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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PIED3170 The End of British Politics?

20 creditsClass Size: 45

Module manager: Dr Stuart McAnulla

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Why should I take this Module? Is British politics coming to an ‘End’? This module considers a range of controversial issues and trends which some suggest are transforming British politics. For example, are we witnessing the ‘end of ideology’ or perhaps even the terminal decline of political parties? Will Britain ‘break-up’ following devolution and Scottish nationalism? Why are most of our political leaders struggling to succeed? Is the era of ‘Big Government’ over? Is religion becoming more important in politics again after 9/11 and 7/7? Do most British people ‘hate’ politics or are they now engaging in different ways than in the past (e.g. social media, protests)? ‘Are we becoming more empowered as citizens, or does the State have too much power? The module considers the key relationships in British politics and how these have, or have not, changed in recent years. Brief Reading ListMarr, A (2000) The Day that Britain Died,Profile BooksHay, C. (2007) Why we hate politics, Polity McAnulla, S. (2010) Forced Exits: Accounting for the Removal of Contemporary Party Leaders, The political quarterly., 81 (4), 593-601 Feischi, C. (2007) ‘How British Parties Lost Our Favour’, Parliamentary affairs. 60 (1), 143-52 Bale, T. (2011) 'I don't agree with Nick: Retrodicting the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition', The political quarterly. Vol. 82, No. 2, 244-250 Smith, M. (2010) ‘From Big Government to Big Society: Changing the State-Society Balance’, Parliamentary affairs., 63, 4, 818-833 McCrone, D. (2012) Scotland Out the Union? The Rise and Rise of the Nationalist Agenda, The political quarterly, 83, 1, 69-76 Bruce, S. (2009). 'We don’t do God”: the long divorce of religion and national identity in Britain 1832-2008'. Journal for the study of British cultures., vol 16, no. 2, pp. 117.


On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1 Demonstrate knowledge of and critically evaluate competing theories and models of British politics;
2 Show familiarity with key developments and recent trends in British politics;
3 Exhbit a critical understanding of theoretical and empirical literatures on key topics in British politics;
4 Relate specialized knowledge of specific 'topics' to broader developments within British politics;
5 Produce coherent and structured written work on contemporary British politics.


Seminar One - Introduction and the ‘end of Britain’ thesis
Seminar Two –Traditional models of British Government
Seminar three – The ‘end of ideology’, neo-liberalism and the third way
Seminar four – Cameron's Conservatism, the State and Big Society
Seminar five – Devolution and the rise of Celtic Nationalism
Seminar six – The impact of constitutional reform
Seminar seven - Explaining the failures of contemporary party leaders
Seminar eight – Politics and religion in the UK
Seminar nine – Decline of the formal political system
Seminar ten – Governance and civil society
Seminar eleven – Revision week and evaluation

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Seminar preparation: 66 hours
- Reading on specialist topics: 112 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

1 x 2,000 formative essay in preperation for final essay

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 3,000 End of term essay100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019


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