IR5009 - UK Politics Beyond Westminster

What will I learn on this module?

On this module I will investigate the changing nature of the British political system. This module will develop my understanding of how politics in the UK operates beyond the traditional Westminster Model by focusing on debates about the relationship between identities and politics in the UK. In this module I will gain a clear understanding of the conceptual and theoretical basis of identity through a focus on class and nation. The module enhances my empirical knowledge with a strong historical focus on the changing nature of the British political system. The module will test a number of my assumptions about the nature of the British political system and give me a clearer understanding of the forces of identity and how this shapes political action in the UK.

How will I learn on this module?

I will learn by attending lectures where I will be presented with an introduction to the academic debates in relation to the key concepts and theories explored in this module; class and nation. The lectures will provide an overview of the main changes to the UK political system and highlight how these relate to debates about identity. In seminars I will consolidate my knowledge and understanding through student—led discussion which will also develop my ability to think critically and formulate a clear argument based on appropriate evidence.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

My academic development will be facilitated through engagement with the academic literature and other sources of evidence as directed within the module. This includes drawing on the case studies and examples presented. To enhance my learning experience I will make an effort to engage with a wider range of literature and appropriate sources of evidence beyond that presented within the module. I will use the opportunities in seminars to engage with my peers in debate and reflect on the formative feedback provided to develop my knowledge and understanding. I will aim to make connections with other modules and use this module as a mechanism to more fully develop my intellectual and communication skills.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Key episodes in recent UK political history and the changing nature of the UK political system

2. Key theoretical debates about political identities and the character of the UK political system

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
At the end of this module I will be able to:

3. Accurately describe alternative conceptual and theoretical positions and evaluate rival theories with reference to appropriate empirical material

4. Apply the frameworks from the theoretical debates to structure an empirical discussion with appropriate evidence to support argumentation

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
At the end of this module I will be able to:

5. Synthesise complex information and construct an argument based upon appropriate evidence

How will I be assessed?

Formative feedback on my contribution in small group seminar presentations and discussions.

Two summative assessments:
Conceptual discussion based on images (1500 words. worth 30% of module) This will assess my knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and theories covered within the module (MLOs 2, 3)
Essay (2000 words ; 70% of module) which will assess my knowledge and understanding of the changing nature of UK political system in the context of political identities. To test the application of my critical analysis skills and my ability to make an argument with the appropriate evidence (MLOs 1-5)





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code L2L2

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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