Political Change: Political Parties and Party Systems (L2034)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

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.


10%: Practical (Workshop)
90%: Seminar


30%: Coursework (Essay)
70%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 30 hours of contact time and about 270 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: