Foundations of Politics (M1036)

15 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

You are introduced to some of the central concepts and issues in political theory.

The module offers you an opportunity to think not just about the way politics is, but also about the way it ought to be.

We will ask questions such as 'why should we obey the state?', 'is democracy the best form of government?', and 'what makes a just society?'

We begin with some of the most fundamental and enduring questions in political theory, and we finish with some more recent debates.

The module is designed to be cumulative, so that the analysis developed in one week is built on in the weeks that follow.

By the end of the term you should have acquired a basic understanding of the central questions in political theory, and you should have begun to develop some of your own answers to these questions.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay, Project)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 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 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: