AD3005 - Politics and Decision Making

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will be introduced to the concept of power through which you will gain an insight into the world of politics and how collective decisions are made. As part of this you will investigate who makes decisions, how decisions are made, what factors influence decision-making and what is the impact of decisions. This will be examined through studying a number of real world, contemporary and often controversial issues, which will help you better understand domestic and international politics, political processes and the role of ideas in decision-making.

In addition to the above, you will also be introduced to and will develop key skills needed to communicate your understanding within a Higher Education environment. For example, you will be introduced to different information sources; academic referencing; and writing. All of these will prepare you to progress to the next level of study.

How will I learn on this module?

This module will be delivered via a series of lectures and seminars – made up of a combination of directly taught and interactive activities.
Emphasis will be placed on you developing your foundation knowledge of political decision making that you can build on and develop as your studies progress.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

On the module you will be academically supported in many ways. First, the teaching team which includes the module leader as well as other lecturers will be available to guide you through the module and answer any questions. Second, you will be able to email the teaching team and meet them during set office hours to ask questions. Third, the module has an online electronic learning portal website including a module handbook that guides you through many frequently asked questions.

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. To recognise and describe different political systems and the role of key, national and international institutions in the decision making process
2. To show an appreciation of the impact of ideas and ideologies on decision making
3. To apply this knowledge to enable you to understand contemporary events
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. To demonstrate the study skills needed to study politics and international relations in higher education Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. To have respect for the opinion of others and listen and reflect when your own opinions are challenged.

How will I be assessed?

You will be supported through formative feedback delivered via seminars to prepare for the summative (i.e. formal) assessment for the module.

Assessment is a single, multi-question 2000-word essay at the end of the module.





Module abstract

War, economic crisis, social revolution, national security, climate change… We live in a dynamic and changing world so we have make decisions about how to address these, and other controversial issues, all the time. This decision making is ‘politics’ and so politics affects all of us every day. This module will focus on key questions. Who makes decisions? How are decisions made? What influences decision making? And what is the impact of these decisions? In learning to answer these questions, the module provides you with the knowledge and skills to help you understand the complex and interconnected world in which we all live and help prepare you for the next level of study.

Course info

UCAS Code L3L4

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time followed by a further 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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