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The University of Southampton

PAIR1012 Politics Book Club

Module Overview

This module examines some of the concrete political challenges of our time through the use of key texts chosen by staff members who work in the relevant fields. We will spend two weeks on each text, with two lectures giving a precis of the main arguments and raising some key points for critical discussion.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically examine contemporary political challenges
  • Engage in critical discussion of theoretical and empirical political literature
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Summarise and critically examine key texts on contemporary political issues
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Think and write independently on political topics


The content of the module will be shaped by current political events and staff availability in any given year. An indicative list of topics includes: Environmental crises and the politics of the Anthropocene The role of China in today's political world Global security concerns The politics of pandemics Citizenship and migration Populism Brexit

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module will be taught using the following methods: -Two weekly lectures of 1 hour each -A weekly discussion board in which students engage with questions provided in the lectures

Online discussion forums24
Independent Study102
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

Assessment 1: Discussion board (40%) Staff will post 3-4 discussion questions each Monday. Students have until Wednesday of the same week to post a 250 word response to one of the questions, and from Wednesday to Sunday to write two replies to other students’ responses. This assignment uses a 5 point per week accumulation system. Assessment 2: 500 word essay plan (10%) Students will submit a short outline of their intended review essay. Assessment 3: 2000 word review essay (50%) Students will submit an extended review of one (or in some cases two) of the books covered on the module.


MethodPercentage contribution
Critical book review  (2000 words) 50%
Discussion board activity 25%
Essay proposal  (500 words) 25%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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