Review of PS1101E – Introduction to Politics

For other reviewed modules, please check here.

(Alternate title: PS1101E – Introduction to Doraemon)

Introduction

This module is fairly popular among most students looking to take an Arts module, for the lecturer (Prof. Yoshi) is something of a legend among those that have taken his module before. Although he’s not under the Political Science department, he still teaches the intro module for this major and has been doing so for quite some time.

What makes him popular among students is (I believe) his tendency to make lectures a bit more colourful compared to other lecturers. The use of comics (almost exclusively Doraemon) and his informal, non-convoluted manner of speaking makes his lectures something that most students look forward to, even if they do not particularly care for the course material.

What I expected

A general introduction to what Political Science is and a basic education in the four sphere/fields of specialization (Public Administration, Political Theory, Comparative Politics and International Relations).

What I got

A basic education in both Comparative Politics and International Relations with a smattering of Political Theory (primarily related to Hobbes, Locke and Webb). I found his jokes and lecture style to be….not that funny at the beginning, but it did become more entertaining later on as the semester progressed. Most of the (female) students loved his lecture though, leading to steady attendance throughout the semester instead of the regular decline occasionally observed.

If I recall correctly, some (if not all) lectures were webcasted, and his slides were uploaded, but some portions would be missing (on purpose, to benefit those that attended the actual lecture).

[Webcasted?] Partial

[Course Material?] Slides and PDF readings.

Assessment & Workload

One is assessed through the following:

  1. Tutorial participation (not too heavy at around 20% iirc)
  2. A term paper (based on questions that are given around the middle of the semester – a broad range covering most topics taught in the lecture).
  3. Final exams at the end of the semester, involving ID terms, short answer questions and a single essay.

I cannot remember if there was a midterm or the term paper was a replacement for the midterms, but it’s possible that the assessment methods may change in the future anyway~

The workload primarily consists of reading chapters from books and selected journal articles in preparation for tutorial discussion and to have an idea of what the lecture will be about. Relative to other introductory modules, I would consider it to be relatively light. Perhaps an hour or two every week is sufficient to read through and note down all the relevant points.

Expected Grade

Tutorial participation is always difficult to gauge, so I thought I would end up somewhere in the range of a B+ to an A-.

Actual Grade

Somewhat surprisingly, I got an A-.

Conclusion & Tips

A decent module for those that are looking for a more entertaining lecture style and are somewhat interested in the content. For those majoring in Political Science, it is a good chance for you to get a feel of whether you like the themes within the discipline (and to practice essay writing), but its difficulty is NOT representative of higher level PS modules. That said, this module is fairly popular even among older students, so be prepared to bid more for it.

 

  1. Try to be in the tutorial class which Zaini is teaching, for he is an adept tutor and gives good feedback. Both sharp in wit and clearly knowledgeable, he’s one of the major reasons why I did not end up with a B+.
  2. Do take the time to learn how to properly cite for the term paper, for most, if not all, the tutors do not look kindly upon shoddy or sloppy citation. And for the sake of both the tutors sanity and your grades (there’s a correlation between them), do not create your own citation style in failing to adhere to established styles.
  3. For the finals ID terms section, drawing up and studying a spreadsheet of definitions and significance of each term may be of help to those that could use extra time for the essay portion.
  4. Some may find the lecture slides insufficient when studying for the finals. I would recommend creating your own notes from a combination/amalgamation of the readings and the lecture slides, using the slides for a general overview and the readings for in-depth knowledge.

Click here for a preview of what material I went through!

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One thought on “Review of PS1101E – Introduction to Politics

  1. Pingback: Introduction to, and Index of, Module Reviews | Ramblings of Roe

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