POL30840 Electoral Systems and their Consequences

Academic Year 2023/2024

This is a comparative course examining electoral systems. The module begins with a systematic comparison of the main types of electoral systems and their function. In the second part of the module the various consequences of such system are investigated, including the effects on the party system, the representation of women, intra-party politics and policy outcomes.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

- A good understanding of the different types of electoral systems and their key features
- An awareness of the impacts and the strengths and weakness of those impacts on levels of representation, descriptive representation, party and candidate behaviour and the party system.
- An understanding of the role variation in election system in today’s system of representative democracy

Indicative Module Content:

Types of electoral systems. Electoral system effects on: vote-seat-proportionality, the party system, descriptive representation, policy congruence, personal vote-seeking, intra-party politics and selected policy outcomes.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning


Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures. In-class work in pairs and groups. Critiquing recent research on party organisational change. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

Having taken an introductory course to Comparative Politics/Institutions before would be helpful, but this is not a strict requirement.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Electoral Systems (POL30790)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Examination: End of trimester exam 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Assignment: Mid-Term assignment Unspecified n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Weekly review of lecture topics discussed Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback individually to students, post-assessment, no later than twenty working days after the deadline for submission of each piece of assessed work, excepting work submitted late or submitted as part of the final assessment component of the module, as per UCD regulations.