Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC1018: Foundations in Political Thinking: From Early Christianity to the Renaissance

This module descriptor refers to the 2017/8 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.

Module Aims

-       To introduce you to the practice and tradition of political theorising in the West from the Medieval period to the High Renaissance through the study of selected texts by the major thinkers.

-       To introduce you to a tradition of textual interpretation and commentary connected with this tradition and some of the major interpretations offered.

-       To equip you to critically assess such interpretations against the texts themselves.

-       To understand the significance and contributions of the major cultural components of that tradition, namely, Christianity, the Renaissance and the Reformation, and the political context of early modernity.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. demonstrate knowledge of the major political theories of the Western tradition between Aquinas and Spinoza
2. understand, summarise and interpret complex and abstract arguments in Politics;
3. summarise and precis a political theory;
Discipline-Specific Skills4. identify and discuss the major concepts deployed in a theory and their argumentative articulation;
5. engage in both sympathetic interpretation and reasoned criticism of such theories;
6. evaluate different interpretations in the light of appropriate evidence;
Personal and Key Skills7. evaluate ideas, arguments and texts;
8. write essays and prepare presentations which demonstrate appropriate communications skills;
9. take a critical attitude to your own work and to learn from others through peer evaluation processes.
10. complete examinations and demonstrate the ability to work independently, within a limited time frame and without access to external sources, to complete a specified task