Learning Outcomes for Political Science

Course offerings also help students develop skills in researching and writing that are specific to the study of politics.


CRITICAL AND CREATIVE THINKING: Critical and creative thinking is a concept in which one applies logical principles, after much inquiry and analysis, to solve problems with a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking and risk taking. Those mastering this outcome show evidence of integrating knowledge and applying this knowledge across disciplinary boundaries. Depth and breadth of understanding of disciplines is essential to this outcome.

Inquiry and Analysis: Graduates with a four-year degree have a critical understanding of politics as a discipline and can understand, analyse and evaluate existing political science research including research techniques, findings and gaps.

Problem Solving: Graduates have a critical understanding of a research project, what choices are involved and the principles on which they are based, and can apply those research skills to address contemporary political problems.

Creativity: Graduates can independently develop new research questions and begin to extend analytical frameworks to new contexts.

Depth and Breadth of Understanding: Graduates can integrate and apply knowledge of theories, concepts, methods and techniques to develop advanced understanding, analysis and evaluation of political problems across fields of study.

LITERACY: Literacy is the ability to extract material from a variety of resources, assess the quality and validity of the material, and use it to discover new knowledge. The comfort in using quantitative literacy also exists in this definition, as does using technology effectively and developing visual literacy.

Information Literacy: Graduates can locate, identify, analyze, and evaluate diverse sources of arguments, knowledge and approaches in political science.

Quantitative and Qualitative Literacy: Graduates can search for, analyze and evaluate diverse sources of qualitative and quantitative research in political science.

Technological Literacy: Graduates can utilize a variety of online search techniques to identify qualitative and quantitative research relevant to the field of political science. Students will be able to utilize the university’s online platform, Courselink, for the purposes of communication and exploration of ideas and issues.

GLOBAL UNDERSTANDING: Global understanding encompasses the knowledge of cultural similarities and differences, the context (historical, geographical, political and environmental) from which these arise, and how they are manifest in modern society. Global understanding is exercised as civic engagement, intercultural competence and the ability to understand an academic discipline outside of the domestic context.

Global Understanding: Graduates can identify, analyse, and evaluate diverse perspectives about local, national, and transnational political issues, as well as identify, analyse, and evaluate the interactions between local and global political actors and institutions.

Sense of Historical Development: Graduates can identify, analyse, and evaluate the historical origins of contemporary political actors, institutions, and systems, as well as the broader historical context of current political issues and debates.

Civic Knowledge and Engagement: Graduates can understand and evaluate local, national, and international political actors, institutions, and systems, and have the knowledge to engage with governance processes at all levels.

Intercultural Knowledge and Competence: Graduates can identify, analyse, and evaluate how diverse political, cultural, and religious environments shape people’s values, perceptions, behaviours, and experiences. Graduates can understand alternative perspectives, and adapt their behaviour to bridge political, cultural, and religious differences.

COMMUNICATING: Communicating is the ability to interact effectively with a variety of individuals and groups, and convey information successfully in a variety of formats including oral and written communication. Communicating also comprises attentiveness and listening, as well as reading comprehension. It is the ability to communicate and synthesize information, arguments, and analyses accurately and reliably.

Oral Communication: Graduates can describe, categorize, and synthesize ideas associated with political concepts using discipline-specific and clear language. Graduates can also collaborate effectively by listening to and understanding the perspectives of others.

Written Communication: Graduates can present informed arguments substantiated with evidence and written in a clear, effective and concise manner in a variety of forms such as research papers, briefing notes, case studies, book reviews and blogs.

Reading Comprehension: Graduates can extract and apply key ideas from both academic and popular writing and, in turn, reflect on their own developing ideas and understandings.

Integrative Communication: Graduates can communicate in ways that demonstrate an ability to apply learned content and concepts across political science courses.

PROFESSIONAL AND ETHICAL BEHAVIOUR: Professional and ethical behaviour requires the ability to accomplish the tasks at hand with proficient skills in teamwork and leadership, while remembering ethical reasoning behind all decisions. The ability for organizational and time management skills is essential in bringing together all aspects of managing self and others. Academic integrity is central to mastery in this outcome.

Teamwork: Graduates can work collaboratively by sharing ideas, formulating strategies for completing group assignments or presentations, delegating responsibilities, and taking personal responsibility for the achievement of group outcomes.

Ethical Reasoning: Graduates have a sense of civic responsibility as well as a high level of moral maturity. They have an awareness and understanding of the professionalism and ethical behaviour that guide the discipline of political science with respect to research design and practice and the principles of academic integrity.

Leadership: Graduates have an awareness of the importance of showing initiative and leadership in a variety of classroom situations and course requirements.

Personal Organization/Time Management: Graduates can manage their time effectively by prioritizing tasks and completing them in a timely fashion.