Higher Politics (Course Code: C858 76)

SCQF Level 6 (24 SCQF credit points)

Politics Image

Why study Politics?

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.

Career Pathways

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Administration and Management

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Information, Culture and Heritage


Uniformed and Security Services

What do I need to get in?

Entry is at the discretion of the school or college, but you would normally be expected to have achieved:

What will I study?

The course consists of three areas of study.

Political theory

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.

Political systems

You will study the constitutional arrangements in different political systems, focusing 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.

How will I be assessed?

The course assessment has two components totalling 80 marks:

Both question papers 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.

Study Materials

What can I go on to next?

If you complete the course successfully, it may lead to:

Further study, training or employment in:

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