Political Change: Political Parties and Party Systems

Module code: L2034
Level 6
30 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework, Essay

In this module, you look at the factors behind political change within political parties and party systems.

You examine the development of political parties and their importance in modern advanced industrial democracies in Western Europe - and learn how to use theoretical and analytical models to study parties and party systems in a wide range of countries. 

Topics include: 

  • examining where political parties and party systems were formed and how they have changed over time
  • investigating the role of political parties
  • exploring if political parties are fulfilling the functions that democracy requires of them.

Module learning outcomes

  • Have developed a critical approach to comprehending, applying and criticising comparative models of party and party system development and behaviour
  • Locate and critique the ideal types political scientists use when talking about parties
  • Analyse the drivers of change in party systems, including the entry of new parties
  • Have enhanced their research skills (gathering, sifting and assessing of information and evidence), both quantitative and qualitative through researching a topic on parties or party systems