Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Political Parties And Institutions POLITIC4015

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will expose students to political institutions and the actors who operate within them, with a particular focus on parties.


This course may not be running this year. For further information please check the Politics Moodle page or contact the subject directly.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Entry to Honours Politics requires a grade point average of 12 (Grade C) over Politics 2A and Politics 2B as a first attempt.

Excluded Courses





Two essays of 2,500 words (50% each)

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable


Course Aims

Democratic countries display a wide variety of political parties and institutions, so this course will be comparative, exploring cases from many parts of the world at different stages of development. We will examine the relationship between the party system and society, as well as the role played by institutions in the political process. We will also examine party ideologies, systems, organisations, members, and the challengers to established parties.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Analyse and explain the differences between types of political parties and institutions

■ Evaluate the works of scholars who have written about political parties and institutions

■ Apply the knowledge gained in the process of evaluating and discussing the literature

■ Advance reasoned and factually supported arguments

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.