UCC ACE Short courses

Sex, Lies and Audiotapes: Leadership, Scandal and the Modern American Presidency CLOSED

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Sex, Lies and Audiotapes: Leadership, Scandal and the Modern American Presidency CLOSED

  • Code


  • College

    Adult Continuing Education

  • Duration

    Eight weeks, Tuesdays 7-9pm, from 28 January to 31 March (except 18 Feb and 17 March, half-term and bank holiday)

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    Cert of Attendance

  • Fees

    €200 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    Students must be minimum eighteen years at course commencement. See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Friday 17 January 2020

  • Venue

    Western Gateway Building, Room G17, UCC Western Road, Cork 

  • Start Date

    Tuesday 28 January 2020

Course Outline

Ever wondered why some American Presidents are more scandal-prone than others? This course examines the role that emotional intelligence, leadership style and character play in succeeding at the world’s most important job. Presidential greatness, crisis management and legacy making are some themes that will be covered, along with considerations on the role of key actors including first ladies, political opponents and the media.

This is an approximate outline and may be slightly adjusted in response to student interest.
Week 1 – Presidential Greatness, Presidential Scandal: the Basics
Week 2 – Carrying the FDR Flame: the Imperial and (Mostly) Crisis-Free Years
Week 3 – The Supporting Cast: Veeps and First Ladies
Week 4 – Boundary pushing: JFK, LBJ and the 1960s
Week 5 – From Imperial to Imperilled: The 1970s Presidency in Crisis
Week 6 – A Resurgent Presidency: Twelve Years of Reagan (and Bush)
Week 7 – Bill Clinton, the Culture Wars and an Imperial George Bush
Week 8 – Obama to Trump: Scandal Free, Scandal-Laden

Course Practicalities


Short courses are non-assessed

Who teaches on this course
Dr Clodagh Harrington is Associate Professor of American Politics at De Montfort University, Leicester. Her research areas include presidential scandal, leadership and domestic policy. She has recently completed a book on the impact of the Trump presidency on the Obama legacy which is due for publication in 2020.

Why Choose This Course

There is no specific job description for the leader of the free world. Voters have high expectations of modern US leaders and whilst some have been visionary, others have brought shame on the office. This will be a fun and engaging course examining modern US presidential scandal, crisis management and leadership skills, with a specific focus on what each individual brought to the role.

There is a vast wealth of literature available on the American presidency. The role of emotional intelligence in relation to presidential success is a topic that has yet to receive much scholarly attention. Why are some presidents more successful than others? The most intelligent do not necessarily make the best leaders. Some are scandal laden, others faced inherited crises, and a few have been simply underwhelming. This course will consider the traits and circumstances of success, and failure, with reflections on what makes for presidential greatness. Students may, but are not obliged to, participate in an informal and engaging way, and might have their pre-conceptions around presidential achievement challenged.


Fees and Costs

The fee for this course is €200.

How Do I Apply

The closing date for applications is Friday 17 January 2020. Fees are listed in each course description. Students register and pay fees before course commencement as follows:

1. Register and pay online by clicking the Apply Now button below. Course commencement is subject to sufficient enrolment. In the event of a course not commencing applicants will be informed and their fees will be returned.

2. Payment may also be made by credit or debit card, cheque, postal order or bank draft made payable to UCC and these should be returned together with a completed application form to Short Courses, Adult Continuing Education, The Laurels, Western Road. Application forms are available from the office or they may be downloaded from the link below.

3. Students may also hand in completed application forms to the office at ACE between 9:15am and 5pm each day prior to the closing date. We regret we are unable to accept cash.

Application Form Jan 2020

Year 1 Modules

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact