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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PIED1601 Freedom, Power and Resistance: An Introduction to Political Ideas

20 creditsClass Size: 290

Module manager: Dr Jonathan Dean

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module provides you with a critical introduction to Western political thought. It aims to establish a grounding in some of the key ideas and theories that have shaped modern politics. In this way, you will reflect critically on public life, and develop a foundation for the further study of political theory. You will explore the work of five influential thinkers, investigating the historical context in which they wrote, the ideas and theories they developed, the influence and impact of their theories, and the potential application of their thought to pressing political questions in the modern world. In so doing, you will develop essential study skills in political theory and skills related to critical thinking and constructing an argument which will be useful in the wider world


This module aims to:
1. Introduce fundamental ideas and concepts in political theory
2. Introduce the work of key thinkers in the history of Western political thought
3. Develop confidence in analysing primary texts
4. Develop capacity to identify and make links between political history, thought and practice.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes relevant to the subject:

1. Demonstrate a familiarity with the basic concepts, ideas and arguments of Western Political Theory.
2. Demonstrate an awareness of how the ideas of the thinkers have been taken up and disseminated on the global stage.
3. Demonstrate awareness of some of the main debates within the wider literature on the thinkers under review.
4. Construct and criticise basic arguments and evaluations of the main debates within the study of Western Political Theory.

Skills Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills learning outcomes:

1. Retrieve, organise, and produce basic summaries of information and/or data.
2. Construct and criticise arguments and be able to evaluate the arguments of others.
3. Work and discuss with others to discuss ideas in a collaborative manner.
4. Use digital technologies to retrieve data and information and to communicate this information to others.


Details of the syllabus will be provided on the Minerva organisation (or equivalent) for the module

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours167.00
Total Contact hours33.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored by means of:
1000 word mid-term formative writing sample in preparation for final essay.
Student contributions to class discussion, which will be monitored throughout the course, though not assessed.
The mid-term essay exercise will provide an opportunity to give detailed formative feedback on student progress.
Opportunities for individual discussions outside seminar times.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
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: 29/04/2024 16:19:20


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