Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code POLI227
Coordinator Prof J Tonge
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2020-21 Level 5 FHEQ First Semester 15


To analyse the impact of devolution in the UK upon its different parliaments and assemblies, assessing how politics in the different parts of the UK has changed;

To assess how the Parliaments and assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were introduced and have developed;

To explore what has been the impact of these parliaments and assemblies for the party system in each country;

To examine how do devolved institutions address societal divisions within each country;

To assess what are the implications for the future of the United Kingdom of devolution.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Identify the key conceptual principles of integration, federalism and devolution and their application to the UK.

(LO2) Understand the historical attempts to devolve parliaments.

(LO3) Comprehend the different powers of each devolved institution in the UK and assess the distinctive aspects of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish politics and society that have shaped devolved institutions.

(LO4) Analyse how devolution has impacted upon England.

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral

(S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Listening skills

(S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

(S5) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Influencing skills – argumentation



Topics covered during the module may include:

Understanding integration, devolution, federalism and UK restructuring;

Country studies: Northern Ireland:

The failure of devolution 1921-72;

From Sunningdale to the Good Friday Agreement;

The Good Friday Agreement;

Devolution since the Good Friday Agreement;

Country studies: Scotland:

The growth of demands for devolution since the 1960s;

The Scottish parliament as a reflection of a distinctive Scottish nation state;

The party system within the Scottish parliament.

Country studies: Wales:

The battle for devolution;

The Welsh Assembly: incremental devolved parliament?

Country studies: England:

Can the 'English Question' be resolved?

Seminars: Why devolution?

The failure of majoritarian government in Northern Ireland;

The Good Friday Agreement and power-sharing;

Union to devolution to.....?

Scotland consider ed;

The growth of Welsh devolution;

The future of the UK.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture
Description: Teaching is via a weekly 1 hour lecture, which covers the main aspects of the topic. The lectures provide a framework for the module and highlight material for more detailed analysis in seminars and in assessment.
Attendance Recorded: No
Notes: Weekly 1 hour lectures

Teaching Method 2 - Seminar
Description: Fortnightly one-hour seminar which facilitates class discussion.
Attendance Recorded: Yes
Notes: Fortnightly group discussions on aspects of the lectures

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 16.5


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 127.5


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Exam There is a resit opportunity. This is an anonymous assessment.  2 hours    60       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Essay There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment.  -2500 words    40       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.