Teaching, assessment and course structure
How will my degree be organised?
All POLIS degrees are modular in form and contain core elements, but also a wide choice of options from modules run within the School and from other subjects within the University.
You will take 120 credits of modules in each year – modules are usually 20 credits each – and may also take 'skills' modules in information technology, career development or languages. All students across BA programmes take a common multi-disciplinary core module 'Globalisation' which embeds study and transferable skills, and introduces you to a variety of assessment methods.
You can expect to develop a wide range of skills. These include critical reasoning, use of evidence, personal research and independent learning, written and verbal presentation, and the use of information technologies to develop findings and present conclusions. As well as being valuable academic attributes, these qualities are attractive to potential employers. On top of the support offered by the School, you can call upon the University's Skills Centre for more information.
How is teaching organised?
Most teaching takes place in lectures, workshops and seminars. Lectures 'set the scene' for a topic or a theme and provide you with a framework for doing further reading and thinking on the issues presented. Seminars are held in smaller groups, which meet for structured discussions under the guidance of the lecturer or a tutor. In seminars, lecture topics are investigated in more depth, questions raised and arguments are developed. We emphasise the importance of participation, presentation skills and group work.
How is assessment organised?
You can choose modules with a variety of assessment methods; besides traditional examinations, there are projects based on essays and case studies. If you are a single honours student, you undertake a 12,000 word dissertation in your final year. This is a piece of independent study chosen in an area of special interest to the student and with very few restrictions on the topic.
Every year, our school produces a module handbook, complete with mini reading lists, to enable you to investigate, and choose, the modules that suit your interests best.
The Library website also provides easy access to electronic resources, which include databases, journals, books and archives.
The University has over 35 IT computer clusters, six of which are open 24 hours a day.