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This course is part of the Introduction to Politics ExpertTrack

How Politics Works: From the Individual to an International Scale

Prepare yourself for a degree in politics.

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  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    6 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 2 of 2
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    $39/monthFind out more

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 we’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

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

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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.

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.

About this ExpertTrack

Prepare for further study of politics at degree level, with an introduction to political philosophy, democracy and ideology.

Start learning today - free 7-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends

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

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