MA Public Opinion and Political Behaviour
BA American Studies (United States) with Film options

Year 2, Component 03

US option(s) from list in different discipline
AR219-5-SP
Art in Latin America
(15 CREDITS)

Learn about the major artistic trends that have emerged from Latin America, from Mexican Muralism right up to transgenic art. On this module, you’ll delve into the themes of landscape, revolution, human rights, and the environment, which reflect the historical and contemporary challenges faced by the region and the role Latin American art has in the wider art world.

CS200-5-AU
Social Entrepreneurs, Sustainability and Community Action
(15 CREDITS)

Did you know that the not-for-profit sector is expanding fast in the UK, and offers meaningful jobs that can contribute to positive social change and ecological sustainability? This module introduces you to this sector and the concept and practice of social entrepreneurship using case studies of initiatives that have helped local communities, disadvantaged people and the environment. It also gives you the opportunity to develop your skills and use your creativity and imagination to design your own project or enterprise.

CS201-5-FY
The World in Question: The Social, Cultural, Political & Environmental Legacies of the Enlightenment
(30 CREDITS)

How have contemporary societies been shaped by the legacies of the Enlightenment, colonialism, and the different phases of capitalism? This interdisciplinary module helps you to critically understand some of the key forces and processes that have shaped the challenges we face in the 20th and 21st century. It is divided into three broad themes; Empire, The Self, and Nature. We’ll be examining processes of ‘othering’ that were intrinsic to colonialism; changing conceptions of the self; as well as both the causes of and potential solutions to the ecological crisis we are confronting today. The module is co-taught by academics from Art History, ISC, LiFTs, Philosophy, Psychoanalytic Studies and Sociology.

CS220-5-AU
Navigating the Digital World
(15 CREDITS)

What does it mean to be a "digital citizen"? How are digital technologies transforming society? To what extent do digital technologies curb or enhance our rights? Some say that we live in a "post-truth" era filled with "fake news" that traps us in a digital "bubble" or "echo chamber". Others see digital technologies as the key to unlocking social change and finding new ways to bring people together across geographical boundaries. Which view is right? What are the actual legal, ethical, social, political, creative, and economic implications of living in an increasingly digital world? This module gives you an opportunity to explore these important issues, and it also provides you with hands-on training from experts in the practical skills required to navigate the digital world.

CS220-5-FY
Navigating the Digital World
(30 CREDITS)

What does it mean to be a "digital citizen"? How are digital technologies transforming society? To what extent do digital technologies curb or enhance our rights? Some say that we live in a "post-truth" era filled with "fake news" that traps us in a digital "bubble" or "echo chamber". Others see digital technologies as the key to unlocking social change and finding new ways to bring people together across geographical boundaries. Which view is right? What are the actual legal, ethical, social, political, creative, and economic implications of living in an increasingly digital world? This module gives you an opportunity to explore these important issues, and it also provides you with hands-on training from experts in the practical skills required to navigate the digital world.

CS220-5-SP
Navigating the Digital World
(15 CREDITS)

What does it mean to be a "digital citizen"? How are digital technologies transforming society? To what extent do digital technologies curb or enhance our rights? Some say that we live in a "post-truth" era filled with "fake news" that traps us in a digital "bubble" or "echo chamber". Others see digital technologies as the key to unlocking social change and finding new ways to bring people together across geographical boundaries. Which view is right? What are the actual legal, ethical, social, political, creative, and economic implications of living in an increasingly digital world? This module gives you an opportunity to explore these important issues, and it also provides you with hands-on training from experts in the practical skills required to navigate the digital world.

CS241-5-SP
Doing Interdisciplinary Research for a BA Dissertation: Approaches, Methods, Practice
(15 CREDITS)

Thinking of doing a dissertation in your final year or research in your future career? Do you have a great idea for a topic that you wish to study in depth? This module will introduce you to qualitative research methods and will help you grasp the logic of research design. The short lectures, practical research exercises, and discussion will help you develop your own coherent research project. CS241 is a pre-requisite for the final year dissertation.

GV121-5-SP
Institutions of Democracy
(15 CREDITS)

What rules affect political action? You explore how institutions and the rules they enforce, for example voting under a specific electoral system, affect political and economic outcomes, and whether these are ultimately only second-best solutions to collective action.

GV203-5-SP
Parties and Elections
(15 CREDITS)

Does everyone in a political party subscribe to the same core ideology? How do you pick which party to vote for? How do you persuade more people to vote? You examine party systems, party competition, electoral behaviour and party organisation in advanced liberal democracies.

GV211-5-SP
Violent Non State Actors: Violence, Crime and Conflict
(15 CREDITS)

Given the rise of groups such as the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, the focus on violent non-state actors has become more and more important. You discover why non-state actors resort to violence and crime, what tactics and strategies they use, how they fund their existence, how they undermine the state and what can be done to counter the instability they cause.

GV212-5-AU
International Organisations
(15 CREDITS)

Why do International Organisations (IOs) have authority in international affairs? Why does the state delegate certain tasks to IOs rather than dealing with these outside of an institution? How effective are IOs in socialising states to behave in certain ways? Explore the theories, methods and case studies which allow you to analyse and assess the role of IOs.

GV214-5-AU
International Relations: Theories and Approaches
(15 CREDITS)

How should we approach relationships between different countries? Explore different theoretical lenses through which the world can be viewed, including bargaining theory, liberal institutional approaches, and emotion-based, psychological models of the behavior of international political actions.

GV216-5-SP
Development, N.G.Os and Foreign Aid
(15 CREDITS)

How do international organisations and NGOs contribute to and/or undermine development? What challenges do they face in developing countries? How do they try to achieve their aims, and what can they do to improve? You examine the key issues which face developing countries including debt, disease, famine and inequality, and how IOs and NGOs intervene in these situations.

GV217-5-SP
Conflict Analysis
(15 CREDITS)

Understand the evolving field of conflict resolution through exploring the causes and effects of armed conflict across the world, and scrutinising the theory and practice of how this can be managed peacefully.

GV225-5-AU
International Economic Development
(15 CREDITS)

Our world is increasingly globalised, and modernisation has led to a partitioning of the world into so-called developed, developing, and underdeveloped countries. You consider the development of the state and its influence over a society in the wake of globalisation in relation to the non-western world.

GV241-5-AU
Political Development in Sub-Saharan Africa
(15 CREDITS)

Learn to analyse the everyday politics of Sub-Saharan Africa: what are important socio-economic drivers and trends? What historical factors drive political development in Sub-Saharan Africa today? Study a variety of issues related to elections, development, and conflict with the tools of comparative politics, to understand both ordinary and particular political dynamics on the continent.

GV250-5-AU
Principles of Social Justice
(15 CREDITS)

This module will introduce you to “principles of social justice”. These principles tell us how a political community should distribute resources and opportunities between individuals and groups. The module examines competing principles of social justice by examining the work of the most important political philosophers to have defended them and also applies these principles to concrete social and political issues.

GV252-5-SP
Discourse, Morality and Power
(15 CREDITS)

Understand how politics and social life is shaped by language and meaning. Draw out the implications of political speech, social norms, and debate for how we act and think as citizens and social beings as you explore the intimate relationship between political rhetoric, discourse and power.

GV254-5-SP
Ethics and Public Policy
(15 CREDITS)

Is torture ever morally justified? Should pornography be banned? Should prostitution be legalised? Take part in the intellectual search for the moral principles that should govern how we answer these questions and others in governing public policy.

GV261-5-AU
American Elections, Polarization, (In)Equality, and Presidents
(15 CREDITS)

The American political cycle yields what some commentators call "the never ending campaign." You study topics in American politics including the personalisation of politics, weak parties, the role of money and the need to constantly raise funds.

HU200-5-AU
Human Rights Organisations: International and Regional Institutions
(15 CREDITS)

While a lot of the emphasis in the study of human rights is placed on the normative dimensions of specific rights, in human rights practice, an understanding of the institutional machinery that provides for complaints procedures (including formal courts), monitoring of state obligations and the review of periodic reports is imperative. You’ll be equipped with the skills and knowledge required to give meaningful effect of specific individual rights. Human rights institutions on the universal level (United Nations), as well as the regional level, are covered.

LA420-5-FY
Lower Intermediate Spanish
(30 CREDITS)

Want to improve your Spanish? Need a chance to focus on difficult areas of Spanish for English speakers? Further your language abilities by undertaking practice of oral skills. Learn to produce written work in Spanish. Expand your Spanish so that you can incorporate more sophisticated structure in your communication.

LA430-5-FY
Higher Intermediate Spanish
(30 CREDITS)

Want to develop your Spanish comprehension? Improve your spoken and written language skills? Sharpen your grammatical accuracy? Study topics related to Hispanic culture, starting with text to improve vocabulary and grammar, then undertaking related listening and speaking activities. Build coherent and cohesive skills for both speaking and writing in Spanish.

LA440-5-FY
Advanced Spanish
(30 CREDITS)

Want to build your confidence when both speaking and writing in Spanish? Develop your language abilities, expanding your vocabulary and improving your listening and oral skills. Expand your understanding of Spanish and Latin American culture and history through the use of texts, films and conversations with native speakers.

LA450-5-FY
Proficiency Level Spanish
(30 CREDITS)

Want to improve your Spanish? Study topics related to social and historical events in Spanish-speaking societies to build your vocabulary and knowledge. Learn to interact in everyday situations, as well as in discussions on more specialised topics. Become familiar with more complex grammar, while developing your oral and written skills.

LT203-5-FY
"I, too, sing America": Identity, Diversity, and Voice in United States Literature
(30 CREDITS)

What are the major US texts since 1850? And what problems are connected to them? Study a varied spectrum of US literature, looking at issues such as the relationship between American writing and history, American “difference” and differences within American society, nationalism and regionalism, and conflicts of race and gender.

LT242-5-AU
International Journalism and News Reporting
(15 CREDITS)
LT248-5-AU
Modernism
(15 CREDITS)
LT249-5-SP
Postmodernism
(15 CREDITS)
LT250-5-AU
Dystopias
(15 CREDITS)

A utopia is an imagined social order in which human flourishing has either been perfected or realised to an exceptionally high degree. A dystopia, by contrast, is a radically dysfunctional society in which the lives of the inhabitants are significantly impaired, damaged, or otherwise undesirable. In this module, we will study nine landmarks from the history of dystopian fiction, beginning in the early twentieth century and ending in the early twenty-first. Topics and issues addressed on the module include, but are not limited to, authoritarianism, surveillance, censorship, consumerism, the culture industry, feminism, Afrofuturism, genetic engineering, cloning, artificial intelligence, and global warming.

PY404-5-AU
Narrativity, Truth and Flourishing
(15 CREDITS)

This module examines what it means to be a self, focusing on the fundamental role that some philosophers think narratives have to play in this. Topics covered include: subjectivity, self-control, self-expression and the relational self.

PY407-5-SP
Philosophy and Religion
(15 CREDITS)

Have you ever tried to discredit a belief by pointing out its backstory? “You only believe that because you grew up in X!” or “You only believe that because you have traits X, Y, or Z!” Philosophers call this a Genealogical Debunking Argument (GDA), because it aims to undermine some belief by describing its origin. GDAs exert significant influence in the philosophy of religion. Historically, figures like Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud wielded these arguments to great effect; and today one regularly encounters naturalistic GDAs, e.g., “You only believe in God because have a ‘god-shaped hole’ in your brain!” But are these arguments any good? That’s the question we will explore in this module.

PY408-5-SP
Ethics
(15 CREDITS)

This is a module in ethical theory rather than applied ethics - that is, it takes up theoretical questions about the status and justification of morality rather than addressing directly practical moral problems. The exact focus will vary from year-to-year. In 2021, we will investigate one of the most influential modern theories of ethics, Kant’s moral philosophy. While students might have had a chance to study some aspects of Kant’s view before, this term will be devoted to really wrestle with its details and consider the most important criticisms lodged against it. We will look at the philosophy of action and view of freedom that underpins the Kant’s ethical outlook; at how he conceives of moral requirements; and at his strategies of justification as well as at the key objections to the Kantian ethical project from different critics. The main text will be the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals [1785], but other texts by Kant will also be discussed. We will also use his work as a springboard to discuss wider issues in ethics, like moral luck and feminist ethics of care

PY429-5-AU
Capitalism and its Critics
(15 CREDITS)

Since the financial crisis of 2008, the social consequences, moral status, and even long-term viability of capitalism have come under renewed scrutiny. Does it foster economic growth and protect individual freedom, as its proponents claim? Or is it a destructive system out of control, as its detractors argue? Should the market be given even freer rein? Or should capitalism be reformed and restricted? Or should it be abolished and replaced altogether? And, if so, what would replace it?

PY430-5-AU
Topics in Analytic Philosophy
(15 CREDITS)

“Analytic Philosophy” is a (sometimes controversial) term commonly used to describe the dominant philosophical tradition in the English-speaking world from the early 20th century to present day. We will explore prominent themes and authors within this tradition. The focus will vary year-on-year; examples include topics from analytic philosophy of mind and metaphysics (the mind-body problem; personal identity; consciousness and “qualia”…) and topics from analytic philosophy of language (what is meaning? How do names and descriptions refer to objects? Does context make a difference to the meaning of what we say, and does what we say shape the context in return?...)

PY437-5-SP
Modern Social and Political Thought
(15 CREDITS)

How and why are women oppressed? How might oppression be resisted or overcome? This module will look at some of the main strands in modern feminist theory, and explore the different ways in which they understand the nature, role and objectives of feminism. Along the way, we will discuss the intersection between gender and other axes of oppression, such as race and class.

SC204-5-FY
Sociology of Crime and Control
(30 CREDITS)

You will examine key theories and trends in criminological thought, including the historical development of criminology and some of the more recent critiques. The themes of causation, criminalisation, correction and control run throughout the theoretical perspectives and are considered alongside some specific examples of criminal activity and organisation. Examples range from the individually-experienced through the structural inequalities relevant to understanding gender, ethnicity and crime and include the global dimensions.

SC205-5-FY
Policing, Punishment and Society
(30 CREDITS)

What is wrong with using punishment as a criminal justice institution? How is punishment a social phenomenon? What are the formal elements of punishment? And how does punishment fit into our wider social world? Study the problem of punishment in a philosophical, social and contemporary context.

SC213-5-FY
Social Psychology (Sociology): Self and Interaction
(30 CREDITS)

Want to study Freud’s psychoanalytic theories? Interested in the Marxist social psychology of Vygotsky and Luria? Curious about developmental psychologies by Piaget and Kohlberg? We study theories of sociological social psychology that relate to the self and social interaction, and apply these themes to the understanding of social life.

SC224-5-FY
Digital Society
(30 CREDITS)

Does technology determine history? Can games teach us about power? Does software shape society? Develop a critical understanding of the role played by human-machine relationships in contemporary cultural change. Evaluate recent developments in media technologies from a sociological perspective. Develop your own blog as part of your final assessment.

SC233-5-FY
Race, Class and Gender
(30 CREDITS)

What are the problems with class analysis? And how can you understand citizenship rights? Are they useful for analysing inclusion and exclusion, how do they relate to gender, and where does migration fit into the picture? Build your understanding of race, class and gender by learning more about how these concepts relate to social inequality, rights and identity.

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