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Study information

Political Communication

Module titlePolitical Communication
Module codePOC1031
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Andrew Schaap (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

We often think about effective communication in politics in terms of persuading others to a particular point of view through, for instance, electoral campaigning for political parties. This module provokes you to reflect more broadly on the nature of political communication by considering how this unfolds in the context of social differences and political polarisation. We will examine how some significant political communicators (from elected politicians to comedians) seek not only to clearly articulate their political views but to shape the terms of public debate within which these are understood. You will be encouraged to develop your own capacities as a political communicator in your transition to university both by reflecting on the practices and techniques of experienced political communicators and by putting these into practice yourself through participation in a group project.


Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to develop your capacities as a political communicator. It aims to support you to make the transition into a successful academic career bv helping you to understand, practice and get feedback on range of key skills required to undertake academic work effectively and to manage your workload independently. Political communication requires accuracy, detail, clarity, focus and solid analysis regardless of its format. By working on these skills in a structured and supportive environment, you will develop your capacity for written and spoken communication that will underpin your academic work and develop skills for your employability and professional life beyond the university.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. recognise how political communication is both shaped by and has the potential to shape the social conditions in which it is enacted
  • 2. evaluate your strengths and weaknesses as a learner
  • 3. develop strategic thinking and project management approaches to organise your academic career

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. analyse some exemplary instances of political communication in terms of some key concepts in Politics
  • 5. employ tools of analysis and critical thinking in Politics to compare sources and use research to develop and support your own independent work
  • 6. communicate your ideas about politics coherently, logically and convincingly through academic argument and writing

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. reflect on how your own capacities as a political communicator might be further developed
  • 8. work independently and manage time efficiently in preparing for scheduled learning activities, exercises and assessments
  • 9. work as part of a group to establish a learning community to research, plan and deliver a project

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • What is political communication?
  • Civility in polarized times
  • Confronting active ignorance
  • Political uses of anger
  • Difficult knowledge and political apologies
  • Debate, deliberation and citizens assemblies
  • Political campaign messaging and referenda
  • Collaborative working
  • Essay writing and critical analysis
  • Academic conduct
  • Creative communication


Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities1510 x 1.5 hour lectures
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities1010 x 1 hour seminars
Guided Independent Study35.5Reading and preparing for seminars
Guided Independent Study10Researching and writing formative assessments and assignments
Guided Independent Study79.5Preparation for summative assignments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation5 minutes1-9Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio602,500 words1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8Written
Group Project (5-6 students)40500 words or equivalent contribution1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
PortfolioPortfolio (2,500 words)1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8August/September re-assessment period
Group ProjectIndividual Assignment (1,000 words)3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8August/September re-assessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Morton, Jennifer (2021) ‘The miseducation of the elite,’ Journal of Political Philosophy 29(1): 3-24.


Bardon, A., Bonotti, M., Zech, S., & Ridge, W. (2023) ‘Disaggregating Civility: Politeness, Public-Mindedness and Their Connection.’ British Journal of Political Science 53(1), 308-325.


Medina, Jose (2013) The Epistemology of Resistance: Gender and Racial Oppression, Epistemic Injustice, and the Social Imagination. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Srinivasan, Amia (2018) ‘The Aptness of Anger,’ Journal of Political Philosophy 26(2). 123-144.


Fischer, Clara. “Revealing Ireland's ‘Proper’ Heart: Apology, Shame, Nation.” Hypatia 32, no. 4 (2017): 751–67


Side, Katherine (2022) ‘Changed Utterly’: The Citizens’ Assembly on the 8th Amendment. Feminist Encounters: A Journal of Critical Studies in Culture and Politics, 6(1), 05


Kennedy, S. (2022). A Tale of Two Referendums: A Comparative Study of the Anti-Amendment Campaign and Together for Yes. Feminist Encounters: A Journal of Critical Studies in Culture and Politics, 6(1), 04.


Cottrell, Stella. 2019. The Study Skills Handbook – Macmillan Study Skills. Macmillan Education UK.


Cottrell, Stella. 2017. Critical Thinking Skills: Effective Analysis, Argument and Reflection – Macmillan Study Skills. Macmillan Education UK.


Jack Habertam. 2016. ‘The Wild Beyond: With and For the Undercommons’ (in eds. Harney and Moten The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study (


Hughes, Gareth. 2020. Be Well, Learn Well: Improve Your Wellbeing and Academic Performance. Macmillan Study Skills. Macmillan Education UK.


Hopkins, Diana. and Reid, Tom. 2018. The Academic Skills Handbook: Your Guide to Success in Writing, Thinking and Communicating at University. SAGE Publications.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web-based and electronic resources:

Home | StudyHub (

SAGE study skills books - helping students study smarter (

Become a Student and Study Abroad - Times Higher Education


Key words search

Academic Skills, International Relations, Politics

Credit value15
Module ECTS


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NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date