POL30860 Advanced Seminar in Politics 1

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module is a 5 credit module that gives advanced undergraduate students the background, training and supervision needed to engage in a substantial piece of research. A number of members of staff of the School of Politics and International Relations will provide foundational background and methodology lectures in their various fields of expertise. Students will then produce a research proposal outlining a topic for which supervision is available and including an extensive literature review. The assignment will be developed under individual supervision. Participation in this module involves a large amount of independent work, and the self-discipline and initiative required to do substantial research.

Module must be taken in conjunction with POL30870.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Students will learn:
- How to do advanced research in Politics and International Relations, involving sustained argument and a good understanding of the relevant literature and data
- How to formulate a research proposal
- The background information and methodological techniques required to do advanced research
- The skills and discipline required to do advanced, independent research

Indicative Module Content:

The course will consist of a series of seminars aimed at introducing students to state- of-the-art research from different sub-fields of politics and international relations. The first and last seminar will focus on research methods and writing an honours thesis more generally, while the other sessions will have guest lectures from different faculty members, each focusing on a different substantive topic. The sessions will encourage you to engage in discussion with the lecturers on how to do research in the various fields. The idea is to make you more familiar with how research is undertaken in the discipline and how there are many different approaches to doing so, in preparation of developing your own Honours Thesis.

Typically the lecturer will provide you with a recent research paper, by themselves or one they are particularly familiar with, to discuss with you things like how this research came about, what the main puzzle or claim is, how it has been approached, what the findings or conclusions are, what the main argument or evidence is, etc.. You will get a good grasp of what the state of the art is in a range of subdisciplines and what social science research looks like at both a methodological and a practical level.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
1. Lectures
2. Critical writing
3. Debates
4. Case-based learning
5. Active/task-based learning 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
POL30500 - Advanced Seminar in Politics 2

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Literature Review Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Seminar: Attendance/participation in module seminars. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Assignment: Research Proposal Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Tues 10:00 - 11:50