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Annual Course Review 2001-2

MA Social and Political Thought

Convenor: Dr R Fine

Recognised by ESRC as 'S'. One ESRC quota award

1. Response to Previous Review

Successive External Examiners have praised the high standards of teaching and student output in the course. They have given positive feedback on curriculum, structure, delivery and level of student work. The aims and learning objectives of the programme were unchanged from the previous year. The teaching environment continued to be enhanced by the full programme of Social and Political Thought seminars, conferences and visiting lectures organised by the Social Theory Centre.

2. Admissions and results

Applications for the course decreased considerably this year and after the drop-outs or suspensions of four students for quite different reasons, there was only one full time student who completed the course. He received a distinction and the Gillian Rose prize for work of an outstanding quality in the area. The number of students taking individual modules remained buoyant.

3. Developments

The course was convened by Dr Turner while Dr Fine was on sabbatical leave. One of the modules (Marx’s Social Theory) was taken by Guido Starosta, a Warwick Post-Graduate Research Fellow, and worked well. The degree operates within the context of ongoing changes in the Department of Sociology’s postgraduate provision. It is remaining an independent programme, applications are well up for new students, the website has been improved, and its modules will meet the needs of many students taking other Sociology degrees.

4. Student Support

Overall responsibility for MA programmes in the Department of Sociology is taken by the Director of Graduate Studies. Personal Tutor and supervisory duties are the responsibility of specific Course Convenors. As well as attending seminars and tutorial meetings, students are encouraged to participate in the Social Theory Centre, and to consult with other members of staff in relation to specific research interests. The course experienced many student difficulties but these were unconnected with the course as such.

Robert Fine, Convenor

Friday, 17 January 2003