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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PIED2160 Spin Doctors and Electioneering

20 creditsClass Size: 85

Module manager: Dr Eike Rinke

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The aim of the module is to explore the role of political communication and political marketing within the British political and electoral process. The course will primarily concentrate on the British electoral process post-war but of course it will review the influence of ‘Americanisation’ on this process.Brief Reading ListBowler, S. and Farrell, D. (eds.) (1992) Electoral Strategy and Political Marketing. Hampshire: Macmillan.Kavanagh, D. (1995) Election Campaigning: the New Marketing of Politics. Oxford: Blackwell.


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

a) demonstrate a critical understanding of the political communication process, with particular emphasis on electoral campaigns in the United Kingdom.
b) demonstrate an in depth knowledge of the nature of political persuasion, the development of mass communication techniques and the impact these have had on electoral politics.
c) demonstrate a command of a range of literature on theories of political communication in general and more specifically on political communication in the UK
d) appraise competing theories about the role of political communication and make independent assessments of key issues and debates in the study of political communication.
e) use their ability to evaluate and criticise received opinion in the field of political and electoral communication.


The aim of the course is to explore the role of political communication within the political and electoral process. The course primarily concentrates on British post was political and electoral campaigning but will also review the influence of 'Americanisation' on this process. By the end of the module students will be familiar with the burgeoning literature on political communication and thus will be in a position to appreciate the ways in which elite political actors have historically used and continue to employ media and marketing techniques, strategies and personnel in the furtherance of their own electoral campaigns.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours179.00
Total Contact hours21.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

10 hours preparation per class meeting: 110 hours;
Writing up and preparing course work: 69 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

1,000 word mid-term essay (non assessed)

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 3,000 word essay (End of Term)100.00
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: 18/11/2021


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