Department of Political Science


POLS0016 British Politics

Course Code: POLS0016

Course Tutor: Dr Alan Renwick (Term 1) (Department of Political Science)
Dr JP Salter (Term 2) (Department of Political Science)


Length: One term (students choose to attend either the Autumn or Spring Term)

Teaching: 20 contact hours

Assessment: Two 2,000 word essays (40/60%)

Credits: 15 credits, 4 (US) 7.5 (ECTS) 

Module Level: L5 (Intermediate)

About this course

Brexit; parliament; government; political parties; devolution; media

This course introduces students to the structure of the British political system and the functioning of British politics in practice. It starts by exploring the social foundations of politics in the UK, looking at the roles of various national identities and of class, gender, and ethnicity.  It also gives a broad overview of the main institutions and players in the UK system, setting these within a comparative context. The course has a contemporary and practical flavour, taking full account of recent developments, including constitutional change, and using case studies and official documents to illustrate the roles of different actors in policy development.

By the end of the course you should:

· 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 political 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 aspect of the British system and at least one recent case study of policy-making within the system.