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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 04/07/2022 10:49:28

Title of Module: Democracy in the UK

Code: PLTC07001 SCQF Level: 7
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:D  McKeever

Summary of Module

Democracy in the UK? introduces students to the concept of democracy, and requires them to reflect upon and evaluate the UK political system in light of that concept. It focuses on key institutions and processes, illustrating salient themes by reference to contemporary and topical issues and debates. 

Democracy in the UK? is of interest and relevance to students who want or need a knowledge and understanding of the basic operation of politics in the UK – whether this is in order to play the role of an ‘educated citizen’, or because they will work in either the world of business or in the public or voluntary sectors, where such knowledge and understanding is necessary for career progression beyond the most basic levels

Democracy in the UK? also contributes to students’ individual, personal development of key social science skill of academic writing and assessment, beginning from reading and note-making, and including structure and argument, as well as the Harvard referencing system, using constructive criticism and formal feedback to improve subsequent work and undertaking assessments.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate understanding of relevant concepts.

L2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of political processes in the UK.

L3. Demonstrate awareness of the main processes and conventions of academic writing.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 7.

Students will have the opportunity to:

See the study of politics as exemplifying the embeddedness of social science knowledge in the main theories, concepts and principles of social science disciplines;

See the changing nature of politics as exemplifying the changing nature of knowledge in the social sciences as a whole;

Develop their understanding of the difference between evidence-based and other explanations within the social sciences.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 7.

Students will have the opportunity to:

Present and evaluate information, ideas and arguments, including suggestions for reform and improvement within the UK political system.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 7.

Students will have the opportunity to:

Develop and improve their grasp of the main processes and conventions of essay writing;

Learn how to make use of constructive criticism in subsequent work;

Become acquainted with the use of a VLE to access learning materials, module information and guidance, and to participate in on-line seminar discussion.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 7.

Students will have the opportunity to:

Exercise a significant degree of initiative and independence in managing their own work

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The lecture/workshop format will be structured in a way that facilitates research-led teaching and learning. Through undertaking a range of inquiry-based and problemsolving activities, students will be encouraged to become active participants in their own learning experience.

This module will support the acquisition and development of graduate attributes including employability, lifelong learning and citizenship competencies by:

1) Surfacing assessment-employability linkages to ensure the skills and competencies learners are developing are made explicit and allowing learners to evidence the development of these skills and competencies;

2) Supporting learners in the development of digital literacies through, for example, the use of online research engines and electronic tools;

3) Providing learners with the opportunity to work with peers in order to develop leadership and negotiation skills and support the development of diversity awareness and interpersonal sensitivity;

4) Supporting learners in the development of self-reflection and evaluation skills and competencies through the explicit focus on personal development planning and the production of a reflective portfolio.

Student contact will primarily take place through a series of lectures and seminar classes and on-line exercises. A range of learning and teaching strategies will be deployed throughout the duration of the module in order to reflect the range of learning styles of students, with opportunities for assessment based on online contributions, oral and written presentation of academic work.

A key focus will be placed on the encouragement of students to develop graduate attributes including reading, writing and analytical skills through engagement with a variety of sources and academic texts relating to UK politics. These skills will be developed through the production of the written work required for the coursework and in terms of presenting and recalling information within the seminar environment and through online engagement.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery36
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity8
Personal Development Plan2
Independent Study126
Asynchronous Class Activity28
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Budge, I. (2007) The New British Politics. London: Pearson Longman.

Griffiths, S. and Leach, R. (2018) British Politics. 3rd ed. London: Palgrave.

McAnulla, S. (2006) British Politics: A Critical Introduction. London: Continuum.

Moran, M. (2017) Politics and Governance in the UK. 3rd ed. London: Palgrave.

O’Neill, M. (2004) Devolution and British Politics. London: Pearson Longman.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
All fulltime students (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries) are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link:

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardSocial Sciences
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelUG Social Sciences
ModeratorRoss Campbell
External ExaminerJ Derounian
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Online assignment - 30 percent weighting
Essay - 70 percent weighting
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)check mark  301.5

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck markcheck markcheck mark7050
Combined Total For All Components100% 51.5 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries). The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.