Programme Specification for the 2013/4 academic year

MRes Politics

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMRes Politics Programme codePTR1HPSHPS11
Study mode(s)Full Time
Part Time
Academic year2013/4
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
Programme start date

09/2013

NQF Level7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

1. To enable students to develop a broad based and relevant knowledge of and competence in the use of research methods in the social sciences.
2. To provide students with a range of transferable skills appropriate to Master's level research within the discipline.
3. To equip students for careers as professional researchers in either academic or non-academic environments.
4. To set the core training in social scientific philosophy and methodology within a contemporary politics and international relations context, thereby allowing students to apply the wider concepts and skills introduced in the broader social scientific setting to specific topics of social science inquiry.
5. To offer students a specialized training in political science and social science research methods as a direct means of enhancing their employment skills.
6. To prepare students to take more advanced courses in quantitative data analysis.







4. Programme Structure

This research training Master’s programme is university-based throughout that period. The programme comprises 180 credits in total: taught modules worth 120 credits and a supervised dissertation worth 60 credits (including a taught ‘skills’ component). Teaching takes place over two semesters (October to May): work on formulating a dissertation topic begins early in the academic year while the writing up takes place from June to the mid-September deadline. The taught element consists of six compulsory core modules that provide generic social science and discipline specific research skills training, as well as specialist research training in one of the subfields of the discipline (depending on the direction of the candidate’s MRes dissertation and their plans for the +3 thesis).

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme. Details of the modules currently offered may be obtained from the College web site

You may take option modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module. Descriptions of the individual modules are given in full on the College web site.

This research training Masters programme is studied over 12 months (full time) or 24 months (part time) and is university-based throughout that period. The programme comprises 180 credits in total: taught modules worth 135 credits and a supervised dissertation worth 45 credits (including a taught 'skills' component). Teaching takes place over two semesters (October to April): work on formulating a dissertation topic begins early in the academic year while the writing up takes place from June to the mid-September deadline. The taught element consists of four compulsory core modules (105 credits) that provide generic social science and discipline specific research skills training, as well as specialist research training in one of the subfields of the discipline (depending on the direction of your MRes dissertation and plans for the +3 thesis).

Please note that the modules offered are subject to change depending on staff availability, timetabling and student demand.

Stage 1


Compulsory Modules

Core modules (105 credits)

Specialist training pathway modules (30 credits)

In addition to the core modules you will take one module of 30 credits, selected in consultation with the Postgraduate Coordinator in Politics. Your choice of module depends on your anticipated research area (developed in the MRes Dissertation with a view to progression to the +3 thesis)

A specialist pathway module is to be a 30 credit module selected from the core modules offered in the Politics Department. See http://www.huss.ex.ac.uk/politics/postgrad/modules.php for list of modules. 

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
POLM141 Elements of Research Design in Politics 30No
POLM139 Quantitative Data Analysis in Political Science 30No
POLM140 Qualitative Methods in Social Research 30No
POLM037 Logics of Explanation in Politics 15No
Total Credits for Stage 1

180


6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Integrate concepts and analyses in the field of political science and international relations.
2. Know how to gather data and interpret it
3. Read critically and contribute to the literature relating to various subfields of the discipline that reflect the Department’s research expertise: political theory, public policy, international relations, and comparative politics.
4. Demonstrate detailed and comprehensive understanding of current issues in political science research methods.
5. Develop an understanding of the origins, history and development of social science and its philosophical underpinnings
6. Achieve technical competence in the application of a range of specialized quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques in political science, as well as an understanding of broader debates surrounding these in the social sciences in general.

1-6 are developed through seminar discussion and assignments on the Political Analysis and Research methods module. 3 and 4 are developed specifically in the specialist optional training module. 2, 4 and 6 are developed through the seminar discussion, practical exercises and essay assignments in the Elements of Research Design, Qualitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences and Applied Quantitative Data Analysis modules, supplemented by specialist training in the Advanced Level Political Science module, and in the Philosophy of Social Science module. 5 is developed through assigned work and reading in the Philosophy of Social Sciences Module

Acquisition of these skills is assessed through written assignments and the dissertation.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

7. Demonstrate comprehension of the relationships between theory and practice in political and social science.
8. Apply understanding of political and social science concepts to the study of particular issues or situations, including designing individual research projects.
9. Know when and how to apply particular research methods and techniques.
10. Identify, formulate and evaluate research questions and research problems
11. Evaluate the appropriateness and apply a number of techniques to exploring different research issues.
12. Collect, synthesize, evaluate and analyze data from various different sources.
13. Identify the data requirements of particular research projects, and evaluate the different data capture techniques available for this purpose.
14. Develop clear lines of argument.
15. Plan and conduct a programme of original research by a deadline.

7 and 8 are developed primarily through seminar discussion and assignments on the Philosophy of Social Science and Political Analysis and Research Methods modules. 9-13 are acquired through discussion, practical exercises and assignments on the Research Design and Qualitative and Quantitative data analysis modules. 14 is a requirement of all modules. 15 is developed through the written research plans produced for Dissertation Skills and Research Design modules, and in the dissertation.

Acquisition of these skills is assessed through essay assignments and the dissertation.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

16. Think independently at an advanced level.
17. Plan work efficiently to achieve realistic goals within constrained time frames.
18. Advanced IT skills in networking and use of media sources.
19. Construct and defend a sustained argument, both in written form and orally, using primary and secondary materials.
20. Work as an individual on challenging material.
21. Confidence to write and present work verbally to colleagues at seminars.
22. Critical self-awareness and evaluation of development.
23. Work as part of a team in an independent, constructive and responsive way.
24. Plan, execute and write up research through individual initiative, thereby gaining self-reliance in time management and decision-making.

16 to 18 are requirements of all modules, and especially the dissertation. 19 and 20 are core requirements of all modules, and especially the dissertation. 21 to 23 are developed through seminar work on the taught modules. 24 is developed through the Dissertation Skills and Research Design modules and is applied on the dissertation.

16 to 18 are assessed in all modules by essay work, and by the dissertation. 19 and 20 are assessed on all modules through the essays that go to make up the portfolio on which the coursework is assessed, and in the dissertation. 21 to 23 are reflected in seminar work and presentations. 24 is assessed as part of the 3,000-word research plan produced for the Social Science Research Management module, and in the 15,000 word dissertation.

7. Programme Regulations

University Regulations on the number of credits to be taken and at what level for each stage of the programme can be found in the Credit and Qualifications Framework.

Progression

Condonement is the process that allows you to be awarded credit (and so progress to the next stage or, in the final stage, receive an award), despite failing to achieve a pass mark at a first attempt. You are not entitled to reassessment in condoned credit. Regulations on condonement can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.

Assessment and Awards

For undergraduate degrees assessment at stage one does not contribute to the summative classification of the award. Details of the weightings for each year of all programme lengths can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes and the classification of awards can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.

You can also read details of Generic Marking Criteria.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic Tutoring

It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you with individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support fo the duration of your programme, and this support extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

Information on the College Personal Tutoring system, library provision, ELE resources and access to College support services can be found on the College webpages for current students.

Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC)

SSLCs enable students and staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Learning Resources

The University Library maintains its principal collections in the main library buildings on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses, together with a number of specialist collections in certain Colleges. The total Library collection comprises over a million volumes and 3000 current periodical subscriptions.

IT Services

A wide range of IT services are provided throughout the Exeter campuses, including open-access computer rooms, some of which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Helpdesks are maintained on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses, while most study bedrooms in halls and flats are linked to the University's campus network.

Student Support Services

The University provides many support services including health and wellbeing, multifaith chaplaincy, family support, the Students' Guild and international student support.

10. Admissions Criteria

All applications are considered individually on merit. The University is committed to an equal opportunities policy with respect to gender, age, race, sexual orientation and/or disability when dealing with applications. It is also committed to widening access to higher education to students from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience.

Candidates for undergraduate programmes must satisfy the undergraduate admissions requirements of the University of Exeter.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

Certain programmes are subject to accreditation and/or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

The University and its constituent Colleges draw on a range of data to review the quality of education provision. The College documents the performance in each of its tuaght programmes, against a range of criteria on an annual basis through the Annual Student Experience Review (ASER).

Subject areas are reviewed every five years through a College Academic Audit scheme that includes external contributions.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

Not applicable

18. Final Award

MRes Politics

19. UCAS Code

C790

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits

180

ECTS credits

90

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date

06/02/2012

Date of last revision

19/04/2013