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Political Theory - Fundamentals (Principles, Institutions, Political Agency)

Module POL10300

This Module is offered by Department of Governance.

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2016/7

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
WS 2020/1WS 2016/7

Basic Information

POL10300 is a semester module in German language at Bachelor’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Catalogue of soft-skill courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
180 h 60 h 6 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


The module introduces students into political philosophy and theory. Obtainment of basic knowledge of central values and principles of political theory as well as basic knowledge of central institutions from the perspective of political theory; familiarity with exemplary texts from the history of political thought; practice of critical understanding of arguments; practice of dealing with historical and contemporary texts of political philosophy; Obtainment of basic knowledge of the historical context of texts of political theory; practice of applying arguments to contemporary questions. New technological developments and their impact on democracy will also be discussed.

Learning Outcome

Upon successful completion, students are able to describe its aims, questions, procedures and the relation to other parts of political science. They can reproduce both systematic and selected historical core elements of political philosophy and theory. They are able to understand arguments and discussions on central values (e.g. freedom, justice), institutions (e.g. rule of law, market economy, welfare state) and questions about political agency (e.g. the problem of "dirty hands").


no info

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

The module consists of the lecture course "Introduction to Political Theory" (2 hours per week) and an accompanying tutorial (2 hours per week). The lecture provides foundational knowledge through presentations and slides.In addition the tutorial enables the reading and discussing of texts in smaller groups.


scholarly literature (readings will be provided), powerpoint, slides


Readings (selected classical and contemporary texts) will be provided. Other recommended introductory textbooks include, for example: Robin Celikates und Stefan Gosepath, Grundkurs Philosophie Band 6: Politische Philosophie. Stuttgart: Reclam 2013. Gerhard Göhler, Matthias Iser, Ina Kerner (Hrsg.): Politische Theorie. 25 umkämpfte Begriffe zur Einführung. 2. Auflage. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag 2011. Adam Swift: Political Philosophy. A Beginners' Guide for Students and Politicians. 2. Auflage. Cambridge: Polity 2006

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

Die Modulprüfung besteht aus einer kurzen wissenschaftlichen Ausarbeitung (Essay) im Umfang von 2.000-3.000 Wörtern zu einer vorgegebenen Fragestellung, für deren Verfassen die Studierenden 24 Stunden Zeit haben. Es wird überprüft, inwieweit die Studierenden in der Lage sind, grundlegende Theorien und Argumente der politischen Theorie zu verstehen und im Zusammenhang mit konkreten Fragestellungen eigenständig zu diskutieren. Die Ausarbeitung ist zeitlich so gestaltet, dass sich die Studierenden in Vorbereitung auf das Essay mit der Breite der politischen Theorien befassen sollen, um die im Modul angestrebten Kompetenzen des Erinnerns und der Wiedergabe der behandelten Texte und Argumente politischer Theorien durch Wiederholung zu erzielen. Die Ausarbeitung des Essays ist zeitlich so gestaltet, dass ein Abfassen binnen 24 Stunden möglich ist. Damit weisen die Studierenden die Behandlung eines gestellten Themas innerhalb begrenzter Zeit aus dem Bereich der politischen Theorien nach. Es wird exemplarisch die Fähigkeit geprüft, sich mit den behandelten Texten und Themen auseinanderzusetzen. Da es nicht um die reine Wiedergabe, sondern um inhaltliche Beschäftigung mit klassischen und zeitgenössischen Texten der politischen Theorie geht, wird die Prüfung als „open book“-Prüfung gestaltet.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

Current exam dates

Currently TUMonline lists the following exam dates. In addition to the general information above please refer to the current information given during the course.

Political Theory - Fundamentals
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