We strongly suggest that students should discuss their course of study with staff in the Department. For any general 100-300 level queries, please contact Associate Professor Janine Hayward . For 400-level queries, please contact Dr Chris Rudd.
It is possible for a student to focus on one or more streams among the rich variety of papers offered by the Department (see ‘Streams in Politics’). Please discuss your options with the coordinator of a stream.
You can take selected POLS papers (rather than a full degree), such as:
For a Politics major, a student is required to take: a minimum of nine POLS papers, at least two at the 100-level and seven papers above the 100-level. These seven papers must include at least two 200-level papers, and at least four 300-level POLS papers. GEND208, HEAL203, PHIL227, PHIL228, or PSYC204 may be substituted for one 200-level POLS paper. Every programme must include at least one of Pols102, Pols207, Pols212, Pols213, Pols303, Pols309, Pols319 (contact Assoc Prof Janine Hayward for approval to include this paper).
A double major can be both interesting and stimulating; it allows you to explore similar issues and problems from different perspectives. You may find the different approaches to be complementary, sometimes contradictory. In either case, your knowledge and understanding are enhanced. Having an in-depth coverage of complementary subject areas can increase your confidence when applying for jobs. You may combine your POLS major with other disciplines. There are many other combinations and you should discuss these with your course adviser(s). With departmental approval, a well-planned double major can allow you to ‘double-count’ some papers in both disciplines.
A minor in Politics consists of at least 90 points of POLS papers, normally two 100-level papers, two papers at 200-level and one paper at 300-level (90 points). Alternatively, the minor might consist of the two 100-level papers, one 200-level paper and two 300-level papers (9O points). PSYC204 or GEND208 may be substituted for one 200-level POLS Paper.
Students who are interested in specialising in Political Theory/Philosophy can consider taking one of the following 200-level papers.
An introduction to the major debates of feminist theory: androcentrism and feminist epistemology; the politics of difference among women; the relationship between sex, gender and the body; the legacies of Simone de Beauvoir; feminist critiques of liberalism; Nietzsche and feminism; theorising power; theorising sexual violence.
A critical exploration of the relationship between feminism, the state and issues of gender, sexuality and family, drawing on approaches from feminism, political theory and critical legal studies. Topics include: theorising gender and the state, women and welfare in neoliberal times, the same sex marriage debate, prostitution law reform, rape law reform, and the gendered politics of child custody.
Prerequisite: One PHIL paper or 72 points
Restriction: PHIL327, PHIL203
What do moral judgements mean, and what (if anything) makes them true? What must people be like if they are to respond to the demands of morality? What must morality be like if people are to respond to its demands? Theorists discussed include Hobbes, Locke, and Hume.
Prerequisite: One PHIL paper or 72 points
Restriction: PHIL328, PHIL211
The first part of this paper examines the main ethical theories. For instance, is doing the right thing a matter of: maximising good consequences; doing God's will; acting in accord with natural law; doing only what we can rationally will; or acting as a virtuous person would? The second part of the paper examines critiques of the whole project of ethical theory, and alternative ways of doing ethics.
Jensen and The Bell Curve are used to show that psychologists study race and class without the necessary philosophical sophistication. Aristotle, Huxley, and Skinner are cited as thinkers who tried to collapse moral philosophy into psychology. An over-riding theme is whether a combination of these two disciplines can provide a defence of humane ideals. This culminates in a critical analysis of Nietzsche's anti-humane ideals.
Students can substitute one POLS 200-level paper with HEAL203 (only one substitution on 200-level allowed) HEAL203 Health Policy and Politics (First semester) 18 points This paper is an introduction to the analysis of health policy making processes and issues. It looks at the factors driving health policy in developed world countries today, with emphasis on New Zealand, the United States, England and selected Asian and other countries. Key issues studied include health system organisation and governance, service quality and safety, health information technology, trends in international health, pharmaceutical policy, and the roles of government and the private sector.
At the beginning of the semester, you will be assigned to a tutorial group and lists will be posted on the notice boards (ground floor of the Arts Building and 4th floor outside the Politics Department). The tutorials usually begin during the second week of the semester and at this first meeting you will be given full details of future tutorial meetings and assessment requirements. Please ensure you attend this first meeting. The tutorial rooms will be listed on the notice board.
Tutorials are an essential part of your learning process. You should attend the tutorial classes offered in your papers and you should endeavour to participate. Those who learn to participate derive considerable and increasing benefit for themselves as their oral skills develop, and at the same time, they contribute significantly to the success of the small-group method. Most professional occupations require the kind of verbal communication required for tutorial participation.
Papers in Politics are assessed normally by a combination of internal assessment and examinations. Some papers have 100% internal assessment. Individual papers have different requirements. Internal assessment ranges from 20 to 100 percent. You should consult the course outline to confirm the internal assessment requirements for each paper.
If you fail to submit an essay or assignment, you will be given a mark of zero, but you may still sit the final exam. The lecturer may grant extensions for serious reasons, such as illness. In that case a medical certificate is required. In all cases you must complete an application form for an extension and this must be signed by the lecturer before the essay due date. These forms are available from the Departmental Office (4C12). No assignments will be marked if handed in after the last Friday of the semester.
Unless otherwise specified by lecturers, late assignments incur a penalty of 5 percent per day (10 percent for a weekend). Work that is more than one week late without an extension may be commented on by the lecturer but won’t be graded.
Essays must be handed in by 4:30pm on the due date unless otherwise advised. All essays go in the essay boxes (100, 200, 300 and 400-level) outside the corridor to the Politics Department (Arts Building, 4th floor, North end). LATE essays should be taken to the Administrative Office (4C12) of the Department to be dated.
Dishonest practice in relation to work submitted for assessment (including all course work, tests and examinations) is taken very seriously at the University of Otago.
All students have an obligation to understand the requirements applying to particular assessments and also to understand and follow acceptable academic practice. Any breach of established requirements or of acceptable practice - whether intentional, or arising through a failure to take reasonable care - will result in action being taken against those involved. Plagiarism is one form of dishonest practice.
Plagiarism is defined as copying or paraphrasing another person's work and presenting it as one's own - whether intentionally, or through failure to take proper care. Being party to someone else's plagiarism (by allowing them to copy your work or by otherwise helping them plagiarise work for an assessment) is also dishonest practice.
All students have a responsibility to be aware of acceptable academic practice in relation to the use of material prepared by others, and for taking all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that no breach of acceptable practice occurs. Part of your study at University is about developing your own thoughts and ideas. Where you use other people's words or ideas in your work it is vital that you reference these correctly. The Student Learning Centre (which is located in the Information Services Building) offers a course to assist you with this if you want one.
Any student involved in dishonest practice is liable to be proceeded against under the University's regulations. A range of penalties is established by those regulations, including forfeiture of marks for the piece of work submitted, a zero grade for the paper, or in extreme cases exclusion from the University.
If you are ever in any doubt concerning what may be acceptable practice in relation to an assessment you should clarify the situation before submitting the work or taking the test or examination involved.
Please also check the Department notice board for the Division of Humanities policy on plagiarism.
THE FOLLOWING DECLARATION HAS TO BE SIGNED AND APPENDED TO ALL ESSAYS AND ASSIGNMENTS:
“Declaration: I have read and understood the University plagiarism policy. I declare that this assignment is entirely my own work, all sources have been properly acknowledged, and that I have not previously submitted this work, or any version of it, for assessment in any other paper”.
Forms containing the above declaration are available on Blackboard. Download the Plagarism Declaration document here (.doc) here.
For further information, please see the University’s policy at: http://www.otago.ac.nz/study/plagiarism/index.html
The Department encourages students to make use of the University’s international exchange agreements. The opportunity to get to know another university, and another culture, is an invaluable educational experience.
The following universities are popular among POLS majors:
The University of Amsterdam
The University of Economics, Prague
Corvinus University of Budapest
The University of California (Berkeley)
The National University of Samoa
Universidad de Colima (Mexico)
Lyon III, France
Charles University (Czech Republic)
The University of British Columbia
The University of Heidelberg
All exchanges require that students:
- be currently enrolled in a degree programme at the University of Otago
- have achieved a "B" average academic grade (overall)
- have successfully completed at least one semester of full-time study at the time of application.
To find out more, see information for current Otago students or contact the Department's Student Exchange Advisor, Dr Nicholas Khoo.
This is what one Politics student, who attended Charles University in the Czech Republic, had to say on his return:
"Basically, this exchange was the best thing I have done so far in my life, and I am returning with the confidence that I can survive and be happy and successful in a completely different environment and on my own. I really recommend an exchange, and Prague seems to be one of the best places to do it."
Please note: The Department strongly recommends that students do not take 400-level papers for the PGDipArts or POLS Honours while on exchange.