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.

West European Politics POLITIC4090

  • 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

The purpose of this course is to examine and compare the political cultures, policymaking processes, governing institutions and welfare states of contemporary West European societies


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





One essay/research note of 2,000 words (40%);

One 90 minute examination in which students attempt to answer two questions out of six (50%)


Oral contribution (10%)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable


Course Aims

The purpose of this course is to examine and compare the political cultures, policymaking processes, governing institutions, political economies, and welfare states of contemporary West European societies. Through a comparative European perspective, students will analyse political and economic institutions (i.e. government types, varieties of capitalism and welfare states, electoral systems, federal arrangements), and the extent to which these structures determine contemporary political outcomes in these countries.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ demonstrate they are conversant in theories of comparative politics as they apply to West European societies

■ analyse political processes and outcomes in specific West European countries and develop arguments to explain these processes and outcomes.

■ engage in debates about how European integration affects states and domestic political outcomes.

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.