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Advanced Topics in Political Theory

Key information

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Module description

This module builds on earlier political theory modules to give students the opportunity to analyse problems in political theory at an advanced level. Students will already have had the chance to study political theory in a variety of ways, including normative, ideological, conceptual, historical, and empirically-applied case studies. This module develops the tools and approaches to a level expected of an advanced undergraduate module. Students will be expected to address complex problems in political theory by analysing the relevant assumptions, concepts and definitions, scrutinising existing answers to the problems, and probing, rejecting and/or revising answers verbally and in the assessments.

Assessment details

'An appropriate assessment pattern will be set which may include but not limited to one or several of the following; Written coursework, group work, unseen timed examinations, participation etc'

Educational aims & objectives

This module is designed to help students:

  • further develop their skills as political theorists in understanding, interpreting and analysing complicated problems in political theory;
  • test and challenge answers to these problems;
  • develop their own arguments and answers to these problems;
  • critically engage with different normative, conceptual and/or methodological approaches to political theo

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be able to:

  • analyse and evaluate concepts, assumptions, principles, arguments and techniques in relation to specified problems in political theory;
  • critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of different answers to the problems being studied;
  • consider and evaluate arguments and counter-arguments, e.g. by seeing how one’s argument would stand up to actual or hypothetical objections;
  • use techniques such as conceptual analysis, thought experiments and reflective equilibrium to test and critically assess different answers to these problems.