• The University of Kent logo

How Politics Works: From the Individual to an International Scale

Prepare yourself for a degree in politics.

491 enrolled on this course

'I voted' badge on a shirt in close-up

How Politics Works: From the Individual to an International Scale

491 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 6 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Understand politics on an individual and global scale

This introductory course is designed to help you prepare for a degree in politics at degree level, or to introduce you to the basics of politics.

You’ll learn the basics of democracy, the machinery of government, and the political economy and globalisation. Then you’ll move on to identity politics, looking at class and economic individualism. You’ll be introduced to some key texts, and given further reading to boost your learning.

Discover the meaning and function of democracy

In the first week of this course, you’ll explore the meaning and function of democracy, and learn how to identify and assess different models of democracy. You’ll then apply your new knowledge in a debate on which model of democracy is the best, drawing on key texts and examples.

Explore the machinery of government

In the second week, you’ll learn about key parts of government, including constitutions, the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. You’ll be recommended further reading, to bolster your learning and to prepare you for future study.

Learn more about the political economy, globalisation, and identity politics

In the latter stages of the course, you’ll zoom out to look at how politics affects the economy, enterprise, social capitalism, and globalisation. Debates here include whether students should pay for their own tuition.

The last week of the course focuses on the individual role in politics. You’ll look at class analysis, economic individualism and neoliberalism, and the impacts of economic individualism. The course will be rounded off with some more recommended further reading.

What topics will you cover?

  • Models of democracy
  • Types of electoral system
  • Models of political economy
  • Identity and class politics

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify and assess different models of democracy
  • Compare the relative merits of Parliamentary and presidential electoral systems
  • Identify and assess different models of political economy
  • Investigate and compare the merits of identity and class politics

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for students who have excellent high school grades or partial A-level equivalent qualifications. It gives undergraduates a flavour of studying politics at degree level, and helps mature students return to study.

If you want to deepen your understanding of this subject, you may also be interested in this course, from the same provider, that shares the same overall learning outcomes:

Who will you learn with?

Chris teaches Philosophy, Politics and Sociology on the International Foundation Programme at the University of Kent. His research is in the ethics of political resistance and the idea of truth.

Who developed the course?

The University of Kent

The University of Kent, the UK’s European university, is one of the country’s most dynamic universities. Established in 1965, it now has 19,850 students studying at its various campuses.

Ways to learn

Buy this course

Subscribe & save

Limited access

Choose the best way to learn for you!

$134/one-off payment


Automatically renews


Fulfill your current learning needDevelop skills to further your careerSample the course materials
Access to this courseticktick

Access expires 14 May 2024

Access to 1,000+ coursescrosstickcross
Learn at your own paceticktickcross
Discuss your learning in commentstickticktick
Tests to check your learningticktickcross
Certificate when you're eligiblePrinted and digitalDigital onlycross
Continue & Upgrade

Cancel for free anytime

Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save


Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 14 May 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...