Citizenship And Democracy POLITIC4033

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • 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

Short Description

This course seeks to explore and analyze the theory and practice of active citizenship, locating it within the democratic tradition of civic republicanism, whilst exploring the wider traditions of democracy. Students will be encouraged to reflect on the implications of active citizenship for contemporary liberal democracy and to explore different/developed models of democracy, as well as current challenges to democracy. They will also examine the implications of shifting conceptions of the nature and boundaries of citizenship.

If the course is offered in the first semester, students may then elect to take a placement during the second semester and to submit a placement report and reflective journal in place of sitting the exam.

**Please note that if the course is offered in the spring semester, the placement option is not available.**


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





For those not doing a placement:

(a) essay of 2000 words (30%) to be submitted in week 6 of semester 1;

(b) exam 2 hours in duration, attempt two questions out of approximately eight (60%);

(c) Seminar presentation (10%) *


The following only applies if the course is offered in the first term, to include a placement in the second term :


For those doing a placement:

(a) essay of 2000 words (30%) to be submitted in week 6 of semester 1;

(b) Placement case study (3,000 words) (60%) to be submitted at a date during the April/May exam diet;

(c) Seminar presentation (10%).

Students will be encouraged to arrange & secure a placement in an appropriate organisation such that the theory/theories of active citizenship can be observed in practice and reflected on and analysed as a case study.

It is envisaged that a range of organisations and agencies providing services to civil society might be approached, including governmental and non-governmental organisations, the voluntary sector and political parties. Informal approaches have already been made through contacts at Westminster and Holyrood; and to agencies such as the Children's Panel and Church groups.

It is not envisaged that students would normally be involved in direct contact with members of vulnerable client groups; where this is proposed it will be subject to negotiation between the course coordinator, the student and the organisation concerned and where appropriate students will be required to complete (at their or the organisation's own expense) the Disclosure Scotland process.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable


Course Aims

To allow students to explore in depth key issues in democratic theory and the theory and practice of citizenship. The course firstly examines classical and modern approaches to democratic theory, and secondly examines the theory and practice of citizenship. They may otherwise elect to focus on the theoretical models and issues related to citizenship and democracy.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Critically appreciate the varieties of democratic theory - republican, elitist, participatory and deliberative.

■ Critically appreciate the theorisation of citizenship.

■ Articulate the link between democracy and issues of citizenship.

■ Explore the concept of citizenship and discuss policy implications.


And if the placement option is available:

■ Reflect on an experience of active citizenship.

■ Assess an organisation's capacity to promote democracy.

For those electing to take the exam:

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.