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Module

POL1045 : Becoming a Political Analyst

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Judy Murray
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

POL1045 Becoming a Political Analyst provides students with an essential foundation in critical thinking, evidence evaluation and argument construction. The module will offer applied opportunities to critically examine language and rhetoric, reasoned argument and standards of proof. Students will work with real-life examples of speech, media reports and academic writing to identify arguments, assess the quality of evidence presented, and interpret the nature and quality of information. The module will enable students to assess critically the quality of data, evidence and analyses produced by others, and will enable students to become independent researchers and effectively present the findings of their own research.

Outline Of Syllabus

POL1045 Becoming a Political Analyst will engage widely with essential critical thinking skills such as:
•       Analysis of language and rhetoric
•       Argument identification and reconstruction
•       Assessing beliefs and bias
•       Systems of reasoning: induction and deduction
•       Recognising the use of irony and logical fallacies

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials181:0018:00Recorded, non-synchronous
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities93:0027:00Annotated readings; quizzes; guided questions/tasks based on reading and lecture content
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Synchronous
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1137:00137:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time91:009:00Synchronous feedback and Q and A with ML
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures will provide students with an introduction to the foundations of critical thinking, presenting topics such as:
•       Analysis of language and rhetoric
•       Argument identification and reconstruction
•       Assessing beliefs and bias
•       Systems of reasoning: induction and deduction
•       Recognising the use of irony and logical fallacies
This content will provide the basis for self-directed study, small group teaching and assessments.
Small group teaching provides a live synchronous environment in which students can explore and deepen their understanding of the issues raised in the lecture material and discuss essential readings relevant to the module. Small group teaching also provides the context in which students will develop many of the skills outcomes associated with this module.
The weekly synchronous feedback hour gives students the chance to interact with the ML, ask questions, clarify themes and receive feedback.

Structured, guided learning activities will allow students to check their understanding of the topics covered in lectures and small group teaching, foster a deeper understanding and reflection, whilst simultaneously encouraging independent learning and effective time management.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M251 exercise delivered online via Canvas x 8 for each student reflecting the stated skills and knowledge outcomes of this module
Written exercise1M25Source analysis 1000 words: focus on what is an argument, reconstructing arguments, valid and invalid arguments
Written exercise1M25Source analysis 1000 words: focus on assessing evidence, inductive reasoning and explanations, theories and hypotheses
Written exercise1M25Source analysis 1000 words: focus on rhetoric, logical fallacies, and bias
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The problem solving and professional skills exercises foster engagement with the module through the duration of the semester and provide students with the necessary opportunities for skills acquisition, thereby enabling students to successfully continue their university studies.

The written exercises provide students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, critical thinking and analytical skills through the process of evaluation and interpretation of real-life examples of speech, media reports and academic writing.

Reading Lists

Timetable