Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL2047: American Politics

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.

Module Aims

This modules aims to:

  • Describe the rationale for the design of the American political system and the implications of that design for governing and the policymaking process.
  • Explore how citizens form opinions about government and public policy and why their opinions may change over time.
  • Explain why and how some citizens vote the way they do, while others do not participate at all.
  • Critically describe the role of interest groups, parties, public opinion, and the media in American democracy.
  • Describe representation as it exists in the US Congress, as well as legislative committees and the overall policy process.
  • Appreciate the powers and limitations of presidential power in domestic and foreign policy.
  • Promote familiarity with the role played by the US Supreme Court in governance.
  • Promote improved critical thinking to analyse news events and issues in American politics.
  • Promote understanding of the definition and use of predictive social science models.
  • Improve your ability to critically analyse texts and to communicate effectively.

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 American politics, processes and institutions across all three branches of government
2. appreciate the role of actors such as voters, parties, and elected officials play in American governmental institutional arrangements
Discipline-Specific Skills3. explain in a critical way how institutions and preferences combine to produce outcomes
4. demonstrate understanding of the definition and use of predictive social science models
Personal and Key Skills5. read effectively and summarise comprehensively complex information and arguments
6. demonstrate the ability to work independently, within a limited time frame, and without access to external sources, to complete a specified task
7. speak confidently before small and large audiences on a subject you have studied