SSST Subjects

Academic Writing for Social Sciences

Political Science


International Relations


Programme(s) where module is offered

  • BSc Political Science and International Relations/ BA English Language

Status (core, option, free choice)



FHEQ Level



Unit Value



Semester taught



Pre-Requisite Modules or Qualifications



Module Code

PS 190


Module coordinator

Anida Hadzic

Applicable From



Educational Aims of the Module

  • This module is intended to prepare the first-year students for the general, formal requirements of the 4-year degree programme in the field of political science and Social Sciences.
  • It is designed to introduce them to different reading strategies, improve their argumentation and facilitate refinement of their writing to meet the challenges of contemporary academia.
  • At the same time it should allow students to develop general skills of research, reading, writing and argumentation relevant for their future careers.

Module Outline/Syllabus

  • What is critical thinking?
  • What is academic writing? What does the process involve? Pre-writing, writing, rewriting. Understanding context, audience and style
  • Rhetorical analysis
  • Supporting your work with outside sources. Evaluating sources. Avoiding plagiarism. Citation methods. Summary, paraphrase, direct quotation
  • Outlining
  • Processes of essay writing
  • Constructing arguments
  • The argumentative essay
  • Presentation skills
  • Research skills

Student Engagement Hours

Type Number per Term Duration Total Time
Lectures 30 1 hour per session 30 hours
Tutorials 30 1 hour per session 30 hours
Total Guided/Independent Learning Hours 90
Total Contact Hours 60
Total Engagement Hours 150

Assessment Method Summary

Type Number Required Duration / Length Weighting Timing / Submission Deadline
Final exam 1 3 hours 50% End of semester
Rhetorical Analysis 1 Approximately 1000 words 10% Week 5
Mid-semester test 1 2 hours 20% Week 8
Essay assignment 1 Approximately 1000 words 10% Weeks 12
Presentations, homework,
in-class assignment
Each Class Various 10% Weekly

Module Outcomes

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • Course readings and class discussion
  • (ILO: 1-5) 
  • Various homework and coursework assignments set by the tutor (ILO: 15)
  • Lectures (ILO: 1-5) 
  • Class debates and presentations (ILO: 2,4) 
  • Individual discussions with students as required (ILO: 1-5) 
  • Independent, guided study (ILO: 3,4,5)
  • Individual and group reading and discussion of various texts (PS: 1)
  • Various homework and coursework assignments set by the tutor (PS: 1-3)
  • Class debates and presentations (PS: 1,3) 
  • Lectures (PS: 1)
  • Course readings and class discussions (TS 1-4)
  • Lectures and in-class exercises (TS 14) 
  • In-class presentation, public speaking exercises (TS 2-4)

Assessment Strategy

  • Mid-term exam (ILO: 2-5)
  • Rhetorical analysis and essay (ILO: 15)
  • In-class presentations (ILO: 1-5)
  • Final Exam (ILO: 1-5)
  • Written Exams (PS: 1)
  • Essay (PS:1-3)
  • Essays and analysis (TS: 1-4) 
  • Exams (TS: 1-4)

Key Texts and/or other learning materials

Set text

  • Bailey, S.(2014), Academic Writing- A Handbook for International Students, Routledge

Supplementary Materials

Please note


Date of Production : June 2016

Date approved by School Learning and Teaching Committee:

Date approved by School Board of Study :

Date approved by University Learning and Teaching Committee:

Date of Annual Review:


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