Italian MA

European Political Thought: A View from Germany GERMAN4054

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Modern Languages and Cultures
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course aims to introduce students to the rich tradition of political thought in Europe. It is both a survey course and a course which examines a distinct set of questions in order to gain entrance into a potentially vast topic.


One two-hour session per week as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the honours options in SMLC and may not run every year. The options which are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses





Essay  2000 words - 50%

Report 2000 words - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ examine the tradition of political thought in Europe by consideration of a focussed selection of texts in French and German (also available in English);

■ equip students with an awareness of the chief arguments in European political thought;

■ enable students to discuss major themes and issues in political thought with confidence;

■ promote political awareness and critical reflection.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ relate a representative selection of European thinkers to the following themes: (a) the relation between the individual and society; (b) the primacy of the economic; (c) engagement with the material world; (d) notion of the contract; (e) the function of the state;

■ relate those themes to each other and to the texts under discussion;

■ show familiarity with a representative selection of texts, focussing on Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Adorno, and Habermas, and discuss these themes and issues with key confidence;

■ critically discuss political thought;

■ produce well-supported and well-referenced written arguments on course topics.

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.