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IR3024 The Politics of Africa

SCOTCAT credits:30
Academic year(s):2017/8
SCQF Level 9
Planned timetable:10.00 am Mon

This module provides an introduction to the study of African politics. Contemporary Africa is complex and varied: the continent consists of around fifty states with very different histories, colonial experiences, economies, values, and social structures. The module reviews the social and historical context of contemporary political life, looking at the changes the continent has undergone since independence. It will examine and seek to understand the colonial legacy, the nature of the post-colonial state, society and its institutions, the nation-building projects and policies of these states and the movement towards democratisation and the continuation of authoritarian rule through "low intensity democracy".

Place in programme(s) and relationship to other modules


Optional for International Relations and BA (Intl Hons) International Relations

UG Pre-requisite(s):IR2005 and IR2006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact:1 x 1-hour lecture (x 10 weeks), 1 x 1-hour tutorial (x 10 weeks), 2 consultation hours with Coordinator (x 12 weeks). 2 hours examination feedback in week 1 of following semester.
Total module hours:
  • Scheduled learning: 20
  • Guided independent study: 280

Assessment pattern

UG As defined by QAA:
  • Written examinations: 50%
  • Practical examinations: 0%
  • Coursework: 50%
UG As used by St Andrews:3-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%
UG Re-assessment:3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator:Prof I Taylor
Module teaching staff:Prof I Taylor