MC419      Half Unit
Modern Campaigning Politics

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Nicholas Anstead Pethick-Lawrence House, 7.01.F


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Politics and Communication. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The focus of this module is the intersection between practical politics and academic research. The course is taught by a series of invited guest lecturers who are experts in the field of political campaigning for political parties and NGOs. It will connect with theory taught on other courses in the department and will enable students to see how theory is relevant and applied to the practice of modern political campaigns in the context of the evolving nature of contemporary political communication,. It will examine core and general concepts in campaigning including political strategy and how it is developed; the shaping and measurement of public opinion; and the role of data targeting in modern campaign.


20 hours of lectures in the LT.

Formative coursework

This formative coursework for this course is a reduced length version of the summative assessment (see below for further details):

Indicative reading

Campbell, A. (2007). The Blair years: extracts from the Alastair Campbell diaries. Knopf.Chadwick, A. 2013. The Hybrid Media System: Politics and Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Denton E. D. (Ed.) (2000) Political Communication Ethics: An Oxymoron?, Praeger Publishers;

Gould, P. (1998) The Unfinished Revolution: How the Modernisers Saved the Labour Party, Little Brown;

Issenberg, S. (2012). The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns. Crown.Kreiss, D. 2016. Prototype Politics: Technology-Intensive Campaigning and the Data of Democracy. Oxford University Press.

Negrine, R. (2006) The Political Communication Reader, Routledge;

Nielsen, R. K. (2012). Ground wars: Personalized communication in political campaigns. Princeton University Press.

Nimmo, D. D. (2001) Political persuaders: the techniques of modern election campaigns, Transaction Publishers;

Stanyer, J. (2007) Modern Political Communication, Polity;

Swanson, D. L. & Mancini, P. (1996) Politics, Media, and Modern Democracy An International Study of Innovations in Electoral Campaigning and Their Consequences, Greenwood;

Ross, T. (2015). Why the Tories Won. London: Biteback.

Trent, J. S. & Friedenberg, R. V. (2007) Political Campaign Communication: Principles and Practices - 6th edition, Rowman & Littlefield;


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

This summative assessment for this course is a two-part piece of coursework.

NB. One additional requirement of the summative coursework is that is cannot be on the same example used in the formative coursework.

Key facts

Department: Media & Communications

Total students 2018/19: 36

Average class size 2018/19: 36

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 24.4
Merit 63.4
Pass 11
Fail 1.2

Teachers' comment

A guest-lecturer led course, with political communication practitioners talking about their experiences.

Students' comments

"I liked that the guest lectures came from different backgrounds. What they talked about is very interesting and relevant to what is happening in the UK now."

"[The professor] is engaging and is always providing extra and interesting resources. Readings were very helpful."