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Unit information: Modern British Government and Politics in 2021/22

Unit name Modern British Government and Politics
Unit code POLI20014
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Neil Matthews
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This course provides a detailed analysis of some of the key themes and issues in the UK's political system. It provides an overview of the relationship between the different aspects of the political system and shows how these have evolved in the last twenty years. It focuses on both the formal institutions of Parliament and the non-elected actors who influence the UK's political process.


  • To extend the breadth of students’ knowledge base of political institutions in the UK
  • To provide both a theoretical and empirically based understanding of contemporary UK political processes
  • To foster awareness of the ideological and institutional features of modern UK government and politics
  • To develop the ability to apply theoretical concepts to the practical issues of problem solving and analysis

Intended Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate the ability to discuss major issues in contemporary UK politics based upon secondary reading
  2. An understanding of the processes of political change within the UK
  3. Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the relationship between elected and non-elected actors
  4. A critical understanding of the development of the key institutions and offices in contemporary UK politics and of how these inter-relate
  5. An understanding of the ideas, concepts and organisational features of the UK political parties and of the forms of competition between them
  6. An ability to locate and use various data sources and to apply these analytically in relation to behaviour and explanatory theory

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

Assessment Information

2,000 word essay 1 (25%) 2,000 word essay 2 (75%)

Both essays test all learning outcomes listed above


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. POLI20014).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.