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Analysis of learning Objectives in Core Modules.

First year Core modules

Introduction to Politics:

  • Several learning objectives are stated which highlight some of the skills or academic literacies the department want students to develop.
  • Some of these include skills related entirely to the discipline. For example,
  • "have the knowledge foundation for more detailed and in-depth study of political theory, political processes, political institutions and political change in second and final year modules"
  • This is a good example of an academic literacies because it is this kind of political knowledge students will need to communicate to other people in their own field and outside the discipline of politics.
  • Some however are more generic skills, for example essay writing. However, the term ‘to write appropriately may suggest students learn to write essays that are appropriately to the study of politics. The phrase ‘enhanced study and communication skills’ suggests the department view their students having already a basic level in these skills before they came to university.
  • "to be able to write appropriately constructed essays in a critical and analytical fashion; (d) have enhanced study and communications skills for interacting in small group seminars and making oral presentations."


More examples include,


"To be able to critically analyse ideas, both orally and in writing, with relation to world politics."

"To develop IT and research skills through the use of the Library, internet and e-mail."

"To develop the ability to work both as part of a group and independently."

  • Once again the first skill is directly related to ‘world politics’ and is therfore s disciplinary skill.
  • The other two skills may be termed entirely generic, although they are developed via a politics degree, IT and research skills and working in a group and independently are all transferable skillss.

Second year Modules

Political Theory from Hobbes:

Third year Modules

Issues in Political Theory:

  • Both Second and Third Year core modules also have the same mixture of discipline related and generic skills described in the learning objectives. It is noticeable that in none of these module descriptions for all year core modules, the words ‘transferable skills’ are not used. Although it is easy to distinguish which skills would fall under this term.

Theories of International relations:

This module also provided guidance on how to write essays.

 This guidance may show how the department enables students to develop academic literacies. But it is only provided in an option module that some students may not take. Such guidance should be provided on the core modules, so all students can access help.

The Undergraduate handbook does have technical advice about essays, plagerism and referencing but no guidance about the process of writing an essay.