Political Research in the 21st Century is one of the most important modules you will take in PAIS. Broadly speaking, it is a module in research methods and academic skills. It has a long and distinguished history, having (under its former name) been taught by leading academics such as Wyn Grant who is renowned for his expertise in pressure groups and was a former chair of the Political Studies Association. This module is essential for three main reasons. Firstly, it will equip you with the skills to make a successful transition from school and college to University. Secondly, it will help you build the foundations to achieve the best possible degree. Finally, it will provide you with transferable skills for after you graduate (whether that be postgraduate study or future employment).
PO102 focuses on how we can best support students to become independent learners and, in the process, develop transferable skills to enhance their employability. The notion of ‘student as researcher’ is central to its purpose, culminating in a research project at the end of the module. The module provides an invaluable insight into how research is conducted in politics and international relations and allows students to develop a critical awareness of the limits and limitations of the research which they will read throughout their degree. We look at some of the most innovative and cutting edge research conducted in the discipline today. It provides an introduction to research methods and the research process in political science, with a focus on the internet and social media, as well as more conventional sources and techniques.
This module is unique in the way it embeds skills directly into the discipline of politics (you will be here to study Politics after all). It will further develop your confidence. It will make you a better communicator and critical thinker. Most significantly, it will make YOU a political researcher!