Learning Outcomes for Political Science

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


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, analyze 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 these choices are based. They can apply their research skills to address contemporary political problems.


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 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. This definition includes quantitative literacy, the effective use of technology and 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 use a variety of online search techniques to identify qualitative and quantitative research relevant to the field of political science. Students can use the university’s online platform, CourseLink for the purpose of communication and exploration of ideas and issues.


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, analyze and evaluate diverse perspectives about local, national and transnational political issues, as well as identify, analyze, and evaluate the interactions between local and global political actors and institutions.

Sense of Historical Development

Graduates can identify, analyze and evaluate the historical origins of contemporary political actors, institutions and systems, and 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, analyze 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 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, listening and 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 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 requires the ability to accomplish the tasks at hand with proficient skills in teamwork and leadership, while remembering ethical reasoning behind all decisions. Organizational and time management skills are essential in bringing together all aspects of managing self and others. Academic integrity is central to this outcome.


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 and 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.


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.