POL36140 Parties and Party Systems

Academic Year 2023/2024

Political parties remain central to the function of political systems. In this module we begin examining at the systematic level – party systems, typologies, origins and assess the evidence of volatility and change, in the second half of the module the focus switches to political parties at an individual level, how parties organise, finance and function and the impact of new on both party organisation and function. Are parties delegitimised and destined to technological obsolescence, and if so, what is the alternative to parties?

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

- A full understanding of the origins and evolutions of parties and party systems in established democracies
- An awareness of the contemporary debates over the state of parties and the apparent threat to their continuing existence
- An understanding of the role of parties in today’s system of representative democracy

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

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
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: Continuous assessment (weekly review of lecture topics discussed) 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

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.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Mon 17:00 - 17:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Thurs 12:00 - 12:50