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British Politics: Participation, Representation and Deliberation


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor and tutor: Laura Richards-Gray
  • Assessment: to be confirmed

Module description

This module will provide you with a critical understanding of central issues and debates in British politics. It invites you to consider key contemporary questions about British democracy, such as: In what sense is Parliament ‘representative’? Does it adequately control the government and hold it to account? Is the constitutional order adequate to the challenges of divergence between popular and representative politics, and between England and the other three nations of the United Kingdom? What is the role of party politics and how has this changed over time? What role does the media play in British politics?

This module draws on both recent and classic contributions to the study of British politics to provide you with the analytical tools to address these and other contemporary issues and debates.

Indicative module syllabus

  • British politics in context 
  • Participation and engagement 
  • Elections, voting and public opinion 
  • The party system 
  • Parties, ideologies and cleavages 
  • Political representation and leadership
  • Constitution and rules of the game 
  • The role of Parliament 
  • The role of the media 
  • Researching British politics

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will:

  • be familiar with British political institutions and the relationship between state and society in contemporary Britain
  • be familiar with concepts and theoretical frameworks in political science and be able to apply these to British politics
  • understand how levels and types of political participation and political representation have changed over time
  • be able to make analytical contributions to topical debates about participation, representation and deliberation in modern British politics
  • be able to synthesise a variety of materials across primary and secondary texts to explain and support your own arguments concerning key issues in contemporary British politics
  • have developed skills of critical thinking, enquiry, synthesis, analysis and evaluation that can be employed on other modules studied at this level.