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Module

POL2017 : Becoming a Political Researcher

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Orly Siow
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

Politics research can take many forms and use a wide variety of data. This course introduces students to key concepts used in both quantitative and qualitative research, as well as range of research methods and methodologies. It covers both the theoretical underpinnings of different approaches, and the practical steps to collect and analyse various sorts of data. Lectures introduce key topics, ideas and debates. Seminars provide students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience developing a research design, collecting, and analysing data. The course will equip students with knowledge and skills which are applicable to both their undergraduate dissertation in Politics and subsequent careers.

Outline Of Syllabus

In any given year, topics covered may include:
•       Theoretical approaches
•       Research questions and hypotheses
•       Surveys
•       Interviews and focus groups
•       Ethnography
•       Ethics and research methods
•       Case studies and comparative method
•       Content analysis
•       Discourse analysis
•       Reporting findings and writing up

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
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture91:009:00Synchronous (present in person for estates purposes for semester 2 only).
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials92:0018:00Recorded, non-synchronous; personal capture (PCap) videos.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Synchronous (present in person for estates purposes for semester 2 only).
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities93:0027:00Annotated readings; guided questions/tasks based on readings and lecture content/ definitional work
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1137:00137:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures introduce students to the key terms, concepts, and methods associated with researching politics. They also help contextualize data collection and analysis methods within e.g. positivism and poststructuralism. Seminars provide a live, synchronous environment in which students can discuss essential readings and specific methods. The Lecture Q&A gives students the chance to drop in and ask questions of the ML, who may also use the time to expand on recorded lectures and clarify key themes. Structured, guided learning activities such as annotated readings and encourage students to engage consistently with the essential readings and specific methods taught.

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
Essay2M15500 words
Essay2M853000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay plan will provide the opportunity for formative assessment. The essay will allow students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and debates covered throughout the course, as well as engaging in particular depth with specific ideas and methods relevant to each question.

Reading Lists

Timetable