Freedom Mural

Key themes, debates, and challenges in global politics

Module details

  • Offered to 3rd & 4th Years
  • Thursdays 16.00-18.00
  • Planned delivery: On campus (South Kensington)
  • Two-term module, worth 5 ECTS
  • Available to eligible students as part of I-Explore
  • Extra Credit, or Degree Credit where your department allows
Degree credit module options by departmentHow to enrol

From populism, to the politics of religion and identities, this module will introduce you to core areas of debate in the study of contemporary societies. The module will provide insight into how these themes impact policy and international relations, but also how these tensions often stem from, and can exacerbate intra as well as inter group conflict.

You will also examine the different ways that social scientists research these issues with training in social research methods. Working in groups, within the seminar, you will design a research project examining national identities.

Please note: The information on this module description is indicative. The module may undergo minor modifications before the start of next academic year. 

Information blocks

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:
  • Engage with a variety of approaches of exploring global political issues
  • Synthesise a range of relevant frameworks
  • Develop skills in sourcing relevant empirical data
  • Design and conduct a social research project using appropriate methods
  • Populism in global contexts
  • Theories and practice of nations and nationhood
  • Theories of global political conflict; tensions in identities such as national v. ethnic, or cultural
  • Different approaches to identities within societies, such as secularism and multiculturalism
  • Introduction to social science research techniques and options - literature reviews, qualitative and quantitative data production and analysis
  • Writing research and policy reports

The module will primarily be based on weekly seminars, each of which will comprise a lecture and discussion component. Each session will encourage you to draw on your personal experiences, those of your fellow students, and broader trends. We will also deploy related class exercises on, for example, data collection and policymaking. As the module progresses you will work together in groups to prepare for your final group assessment, fusing your interests and approaches. When possible we will make use of digital tools including videos, podcasts, interviews, and online datasets.

Summative feedback is provided through marking on the module VLE, though which assessments will be submitted. Feedback from your individual essay in term 1 will be designed to be useful for your subsequent group essay. Formative assessment is provided through classroom group and individual feedback on a session by session basis.

Coursework: 1500-word essay (50%)
Coursework: 2000-word group research project (50%)

  • Requirements: You are expected to attend all classes and undertake approximately 85 hours of independent study in total during the module. Independent study includes reading and preparation for classes, researching and writing coursework assignments and preparing for other assessments.
  • This module is designed as an undergraduate Level 6 module. For an explanation of levels, view the Imperial Horizons Level Descriptors page.‌‌