Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL2059: Political Thought of Modernity

This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.

Module Aims

This module aims:

  • To introduce you to the some of the most important texts and traditions (in Western political thought) through the study of selected texts.
  • To enable your understanding of how political arguments fit together to form complex philosophical theories and, by extension, of how ostensibly discrete political viewpoints are actually embedded in a whole network of beliefs.
  • To develop your ability to critically assess both theoretical texts and subsequent interpretations of them.
  • To encourage you to think critically about individual political ideas as well as about the notion of modernity after the French Revolution.

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 major Western political theories of the modern period;
2. understand, summarise and interpret complex and abstract arguments in politics and summarise and critique a political theory;
3. appreciate the part played by these theories in the emergence of modern understandings of a range of political concepts.
Discipline-Specific Skills4. identify and discuss the major concepts deployed in a theory and their argumentative articulation;
5. engage in both sympathetic interpretation and criticism of such theories, and to evaluate different interpretations in the light of appropriate evidence.
Personal and Key Skills6. evaluate ideas, arguments and texts;
7. prepare essays and presentations;
8. learn from others by undertaking peer evaluation and take a critical attitude towards your work.