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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 07/06/2021 07:52:37

Title of Module: Participation & Democracy

Code: PLTC10014 SCQF Level: 10
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:R  Campbell

Summary of Module

This module examines the changing patterns of political participation in advanced industrial democracies. As voters, demonstrators, or by engaging with social and political movements, people shape and contest power. Whilst the subject of participation is particularly vast, this module emphasises:

(1) how and why people get involved in politics;

(2) explanations for why people participate in different ways; and

(3) how changing styles of political participation are contributing to demands for democratic reform.

The module takes an inquiry-based approach. By utilising a series of quantitative labs as part of the learning and teaching strategy, it equips students with the skills to conduct their own project. In doing so, it also equips students with a range of important transferrable and employability skills, including working independently; managing a varied workload; assimilating and synthesising multiple data sources; constructing coherent arguments; and preparing written reports. 

  • Participation

  • Electoral behaviour

  • Radical Right

  • Party membership

  • Revolutions

  • Social and Political Movements

  • Social Capital

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. Understand the key approaches explaining political participation, particularly since the 1960s.

L2. Select and refine an appropriate project for independent study.

L3. Understand empirical data, methodological approaches, and good research practice in political science.

L4. Present evidence-based arguments in a clear and engaging piece of independent study.

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 10.

Retrieving, interpreting and analysing primary data sources including electronic sources, especially survey data.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 10.

Drawing on information from a variety of sources, including academic research publications, to make original, and distinct, observations.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 10.

Developing reasoned argument, synthesising relevant information and exercising critical judgement to evaluate theories, concepts and evidence.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 10.

Understanding the SPSS environment and using it for independent analysis.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 10.

Exercising autonomy and initiative while developing capacity for independent work.

Developing and extending the capacity to work with others through group interaction in seminars.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Other:40 credits in social science modules at level 9 or equivalent
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
Staff/student face-to-face contact will take place primarily through lectures and seminars. Lectures will examine key theories and issues central to the study of participation and democracy from the perspective of the social sciences. Seminars and labs will be focused on engaging students in the discussion of the theories and issues covered in the lectures and on the development of key competencies related to the learning experience. A central focus of the learning, teaching and assessment approach on the module lies in developing learners’ understanding of the processes of learning, engaging them in the development of the information, communication and digital literacies and skills that will support them not only as undergraduate students but as lifelong learners. To further support this, there will be an explicit engagement with personal development planning and reflective practice.

This module will support the acquisition and development of graduate attributes and 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. Learners will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their digital skills and competencies and develop their understanding of ‘digital influence’;

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.

The assessment structure on this module is designed to explicitly support learners in the development of the competencies identified below:

Assessment 1 - Competencies developed
Cognitive - Arguing
Generic - Expressing
Personal development - Commitment

Assessment 2 Competencies developed
Cognitive - Evaluation
Generic - Planning
Personal development/citizenship - Motivation / inclusivity
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 Delivery12
Independent Study18
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity6
Asynchronous Class Activity164
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:

Campbell, R. (2019) Popular Support for Democracy in Unified Germany: Critical Democrats. London: Palgrave.

Dalton, R.J. and Klingemann, H.D. (2009) The Oxford Handbook of Political Behavior. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Inglehart, R. (1977) The Silent Revolution: Changing Values and Political Styles Among Western Publics. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Norris, P. (2002) Democratic Phoenix: Reinventing Political Activism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Scholzman, K.H., Verba, S. and Brady, H.E. (2012) The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy. Oxford: Princeton University Press.

(**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 - Politics & Criminal Justice
ModeratorJ Connolly
External ExaminerJ Derounian
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Assessment 1 – Written Work (25%)
Assessment 2 - Written Work(75%)
(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) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Review/ Article/ Critique/ Papercheck markcheck mark  25100

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essay  check markcheck mark7550
Combined Total For All Components100% 150 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.