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Issues in Contemporary Politics

Module Code: PO4690

Module Name: Issues in Contemporary Politics

  • ECTS Weighting: 15
  • Semester/Term Taught: Michaelmas + Hilary Term
  • Contact Hours: One two-hour seminar a week
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Dr. Jacqueline Hayden
  • Pre-requisite: PO3600 Research Methods for Political Science

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Develop and produce a research proposal with the potential to be submitted as suitable topic at post-graduate level.
  • Produce a research design and distinguish between quantitative and qualitative research requirements.
  • Discriminate between differing categories of presentation making and assess the appropriate approach required depending on and informed by different contexts.
  • Synthesize research information from a variety of sources and be able to summarize complex information in formats appropriate to particular audiences.
  • Self-evaluate and constructively assess the work and presentations of your class mates.
  • Identify the skills required from individual team members in group work. You will also gain an understanding of how to delegate effectively and formulate plans for group work.

Module Learning Aims

The module aims to help students marshal and present their ideas in a clear, coherent and cogent way, particularly in the context of presentations. Students will learn how to produce research project proposals of a kind and standard suitable for academic political science. This training acts as a preparation for careers in fields directly related to politics as well as journalism, teaching, policy-making, and business. It also prepares students for postgraduate study.


Module Content

In this course students learn how to analyse issues of real-world importance as political scientists. Students choose the topics they wish to research and present on in consultation with the course director. One-to-one meetings between student and director to discuss up-coming presentations and research proposals is a key feature of this course. Timely feedback, both written and verbal enhances students’ capacity to self-evaluate their own work. Students are encouraged to think in an interdisciplinary fashion, marrying the knowledge and skills they are learning in other courses. Students will also be required to act as critical discussants for fellow student presenters. Good research practice is central to this course which focuses students on applying such practice to their own research output in the form of a research proposal.

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Recommended Reading List

As the topics for presentation and research proposals are selected by students there are no set texts for this course. Students are expected to generate the material they require to support their presentations and research agenda in consultation with the course director.

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Assessment Details

There is no final examination for this module but students will be assessed on a continuous basis as follows:

Two 15 minute presentations 20%
One 10 minute presentation   10%
One joint /team presentation 10%
Quality of discussant role       20%
Final research proposal          40%

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Last updated 6 October 2016 polsci@tcd.ie.