Skip to main content

Unit information: Public Opinion and Democracy in 2021/22

Unit name Public Opinion and Democracy
Unit code SOCI30072
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Ms. Surridge
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit aims to: Encourage students to think critically about the relationship between public opinion and democracy Offer an overview of the mechanisms by which public opinion is linked to representation Develop an understanding of how public opinion is formed Consider the impact of social and political change on public opinion Understand tools used for the measurement and analysis of public opinion

Intended learning outcomes

Students will be able to

  1. Critically appraise measures of public opinion
  2. Critically discuss the relationship between public opinion and democracy
  3. Be able to discuss how public opinion is formed and the role of key agents in this process
  4. Understand the impact of social and political change on public opinion

Teaching details

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

Assessment Details

Critical evaluation of public opinion poll data

  • Summative: Research Note 1,000 words 25%
  • Summative: Essay 2,500 words 75%

Assessment 1 tests learning outcomes 1 and 4, Assessment 2 tests learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 4.


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. SOCI30072).