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The University of Southampton

PAIR1011 A (Dis) United Kingdom? Myth and Reality in British Politics

Module Overview

Recent referenda on UK withdrawal from the European Union and Scottish withdrawal from the UK appear to have brought simmering tensions in politics on these islands to the fore - or perhaps even created a newly polarised politics. Moreover, while support for nationalist parties has increased, support for the traditional parties of left and right that have dominated Westminster politics for the last 100 years seems to have returned. What are political scientists to make of current UK politics? The module takes and interactive and open-ended approach to teaching and learning. Students will leave the module with a greater understanding of the institutions and actors that have shaped modern British politics. The module aims to equip students with social science tools and vocabulary that will enable them to better navigate, predict, and intervene positively in politics in the UK.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • British political history and institutions and they shape the current political context.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Offer theoretically-informed and evidence-based analysis of developments in UK politics.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Apply skills in different types of written communication including writing analytical essays and shorter pieces aimed at applying learning to the immediate political and policy problems of the day.


Topics covered include: • Constitutional politics • Territorial politics • Representation • Parliament • Voting behaviour and elections • Britain and the EU • Identity politics • Brexit • Party system • Political participation

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching will be 2 hours of lectures per week. All will be recorded and posted on Blackboard. Lectures will be delivered either face to face or online only depending upon University and Public Health England Guidance at the time. Total of 24 hours of lectures (2 hours per week X 12 weeks) per module. Weekly student participation in online discussion boards. 1 hour per week delivered asynchronously. (1 hour X 12 weeks)

Independent Study114
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Journal articles. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Discussion board activity 25%
Research project 50%
Research proposal 25%


MethodPercentage contribution
Analytical essay  (1000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Analytical essay  (1500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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