Department of Political Science


British Government and Politics

Course Code


Course Tutor

Professor Meg Russell (Department of Political Science)


1,000 word essay (30%) + 2,000 word essay (70%)

Credit Value


About this course

This course looks at 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, using both academic sources and official documents to illustrate the role of different actors in policy development, and exploring key controversies.

It will emphasise the role of political forces such as 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 two components of the British system.