Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3048: US Field Course

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.

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

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover the following topics:


Seminar 1: Field Work Ethics

An introduction to power relations in politics research, overviewing key concepts such as; voluntary informed consent, research bias, anonymity, confidentiality and the dignity of research participation. Training provided as part of this module is mandatory for participation in the field trip. Participation will be monitored, and those students who miss the seminar will have to retake it.


Seminar 2: Commemoration

A seminar on reading space, visiting memorial sites and understanding narratives of commemoration in context.  


Seminar 3:  Interview Techniques

An overview on structuring interview questions, and conducting focus groups as well as stakeholder interviews.


Seminar 4:   Ethnography

A seminar on how to conduct ethnographic research and keep effective records of fieldwork.


Field Trip:

A six day field trip to New York, including visits to the United Nations, ABC headquarters, the Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, a University, etc. Content of the field trip will vary from year to year, depending on the current political climate.


Seminar 5: Debrief, and completing your assessments.

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activity 4The module will be taught through 4 seminars of 1 hour each
Guided Independent Study256Private study – reading and preparing for seminars (around 2 hours of reading and note-taking per lecture); researching and writing reports (around 98 hours researching, planning and writing the each essay).
Placement/study abroad40 (over 1 week)The module will include one field trip to New York under staff supervision. The 40 hours will take place during the week of the trip.

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).