Politics is a process in which groups of people resolve conflicts and make collective decisions.
The aim of this course is to provide you with knowledge and understanding of political concepts and principles. You will develop skills in interpreting, analysing and evaluating political arguments and learn to debate in a critical way. The course encourages a comparative approach to politics and uses a wide range of local, national and international examples.
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Entry is at the discretion of the school or college, but you would normally be expected to have achieved:
The course consists of three areas of study.
You will study the key political concepts of power, authority and legitimacy, with particular reference to the work of Steven Lukes and Max Weber, and analyse the relevance of these concepts today.
You will study the constitutional arrangements in different political systems, focussing on the roles of executive and legislative branches within each system. You will compare and contrast the respective powers of individual branches of government within the two political systems, and draw balanced conclusions about these.
You will study two of following political systems: the UK political system; Scottish political system; the political system of the United States of America; or the European Union political system.
Political parties and elections
You will compare the electoral impact of two different dominant ideas. This can either be from within one political party or between two different political parties, and the impact of political campaign management strategies and theoretical analyses of voting behaviour. You can choose from the following: the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, Liberal Democrats or the Scottish National Party.
The course assessment has three components totalling 110 marks:
For the assignment component, you will be asked to choose a political topic or issue to research, and organise your findings to address the issue, using a politics resource sheet to collate your evidence and references.
Both the question papers and the assignment are set and externally marked by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).
The grade awarded is based on the total marks achieved across course assessment.
The course assessment is graded A-D.
If you complete the course successfully, it may lead to:
Further study, training or employment in: