Government and Politics
Government and Politics is a dynamic and ever-changing subject, always topical for those who enjoy and who are familiar with contemporary issues, developments and debates. Having an interest and knowledge of current affairs, governance and political issues is a major advantage to studying this subject. Skills on how to critically analyse the news and current affairs programmes on radio and television will be taught. Each module is presented and supported through references to the textbook and carefully selected websites for wider research and reading. Key words are highlighted and explained throughout, and there are regular tasks and questions throughout each module to assess and check that learning has taken place. Government and Politics has a distinct language and terminology which will be taught with activities to help embed these e.g. by writing them on index cards or developing a file of key words as you go along in order to help learn them. The course is divided into four main parts divided into modules after which there is an optional assignment.
UNIT 1, People and Politics - the first section is divided into three modules:
Module One - Democracy and Political Participation
A large section of young adults, ~60% and ~15% of the elderly population do not bother to vote, yet history shows the battles to gain the right for all over 18 years to be able to participate in British politics today. This section defines democracy in the UK context and how this links to membership of the European Union, EU. The history, meaning and the changing of the definition of democracy is explored. This continues with a discussion on the state and government, how they govern and who has power and authority in making the laws. How participation can have effect on these processes ends this topic.
Module Two - Party Policies and Ideas
The UK political system has key, well-known and historically-formed parties, but new parties such as the Green Party and other right wing groups are arising. Better understanding of what these groups stand for, their traditions, ideologies, values and representation will be investigated. Generally each party believes that they are working together with common goals to improving society, and how they do this will be explored. The make-up and development of the main parties is discussed. Pertinent issue-based questions such as ‘is voting fair’ and ‘the participation of women in politics’ are covered.
Module Three - Elections and Pressure Groups
The purpose of elections is in promoting democracy, if this is achievable and its limitations are discussed. The voting system in electing the local, national and European representatives for local councils, the House of Commons and as MEPs in the EU is studied. The electoral system and representation in the UK is very contentious and this will be debated by looking at the election of 2010. The 2010 elections is a particularly useful case study as it resulted in a Coalition government. Detailed case studies involving regional variations, pressure groups and the mayoral elections will be explored.
UNIT 2 - Governing the UK:
Module Four - The Constitution and Parliament
An understanding and knowledge of the nature, source and key features of the UK Constitution is investigated. It is uncodified and evolving. Sovereignty, membership of the European Union and devolution is discussed in relation to the Constitution and reformation such as of the House of Lords. The UK alongside New Zealand and Israel are the only countries that do not have a single written constitution, but instead have several documents such as the Magna Carta 1215, the Bill of Rights 1689, the 1701 act of Settlement and the 1911 Act of Parliament. This allows key laws to be able to be changed when the world changes, such as Gay Marriage 2014. The role of parliament, House of Commons and Lords, and how Bills are passed is also explored.
Module Five - The Prime Minister and Cabinet
The role, powers and constraints of the Prime Minister and his cabinet, as well as the opposition and other Ministers of Parliament, MPs is looked at in detail. The office of the Prime Minister is the executive branch of government. Which leadership style is adopted by the Leading MPs, past and present and whether it should follow the American Presidential style is discussed. Case studies such as the Westland Affair are used to illustrate the duties and functions of the various sections of parliament and the government.
Module Six - Judges and Civil Liberties
The significance of the judiciary in promoting rule-based governance, the power and influence of judges is investigated in terms of civil liberties and individual rights. The role and impact of the Courts, including on the Human Rights Laws, and their relationship with the supreme and European Courts is discussed. Laws are passed by Parliament, before being implemented, so the role of the judiciary on British politics is addressed. The House of Lords is no longer the Supreme or High court in the UK.
UNIT 3 - UK Political Issues:
Module Seven - Economic Policy and Social Welfare, Health and Education
The key policies for all the political parties are addressed. Each issue will be covered in depth to give knowledge about their general relationship between the state and local, national and global market. The management of e.g. Health and the National Health System, NHS, economics and the welfare state and education are of paramount importance to the public. So party policies in relation to each are important during elections and party manifestos promise the future of these key issues. The role of trade unions, particularly in relation to party politics is explored. The module ends with discussions of each issue and changing trends such as an ageing population.
Module Eight - Law, Order, Criminal Justice, and the Environmental Policy
A general overview of the law and the criminal justice system, and the position of the political parties in relation to crime, public order and punishment are given. Law and order are discussed in detail as a political issue because it concerns the whole population. How the Police are managed, their structure, changing role and accountability are explored. There have been many changes and historic development and as the nature of crime, disorder, law and punishment have changed, so these will be debated and discussed. The module ends with a discussion of the environmental or Green policy.
UNIT 4 - European Union, EU Political Issues
Module 9: Impact of EU on the UK and European Integration
The views of individual politicians and different parties about the position and role of the UK in the EU are an extremely contentious issue, with differing views that raise passions and emotions. How the EU impacts on UK policies, the constitution, and the factors that has shaped and affects future policy developments will be addressed. The origin and history of the EU is covered in depth. The principal aim of the EU was to prevent war and to improve trade and prosperity in Europe.
Module 10: EU Institutions, their Relationships and Domestic Policy Issues
The final module continues to look at the EU, its member states and the policy-making power within the EU. The key issues and processes that determine democratic participation and accountability will be explored. The European Commission based in Brussels takes care of the daily running of the EU, but the governance is by an elected European Parliament. Key issues and debated concerning the UK positioning in the EU is discussed from various dimensions such as the Euro-currency to future economic unity and other common policies.
All students must be 16 years of age and above.
Level 3 Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.
Approximately 20 hours per unit
Final online multiple choice examination.
Please note that you can enrol on this course at anytime.
Diploma in Government and Politics
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The Quality Assured Diploma is a Level 3 equivalent on the National Qualifications Framework. The Diploma is a 1 year course which is self study and is examined by online examination. The Diploma is awarded by Oxford College. Upon completion of the course you will receive certification awarded by Oxford College.
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This product was added to our catalog on Monday 17 August, 2009.