POLS6001A/B Introduction to British Politics
Course Code: POLS6001A/B
Length: One term (students choose to attend either the Autumn or Spring Term)
Teaching: 20 hours lectures/seminars
Assessment: Two 2,000 word essays (40/60%)
Credits: 0.5 course units, 4 (US) 7.5 (ECTS)
About this course
This course introduces students to the structure of British government and the functioning of British politics in practice. It gives a broad overview of the main institutions and players in the British system, setting these within a comparative context. The course will have a contemporary and practical flavour, taking full account of recent constitutional change and using case studies and official documents to illustrate the role of different actors in policy development. It will emphasise the role of political forces – the parties, social movements and the media – as well as the formal institutions of the state.
By the end of the course the students will:
- be familiar with the basic functioning of the contemporary British political system;
- be able to critically assess the system citing the arguments of key commentators;
- have a sound understanding of how the British system is situated in a comparative context;
- understand the main influences on policy making within the British context and how these relate to each other;
- have studied in depth at least one component of the British system, and at least one recent case study of policy making within the system.