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  • University of Edinburgh

Towards Scottish Independence? Understanding the Referendum

Understand the Scottish independence poll, and the pros and cons of a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ vote, with The University of Edinburgh.

9,486 enrolled on this course

Towards Scottish Independence? Understanding the Referendum
  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

Whether you’re wondering how to vote in the Scottish referendum on 18 September or would simply like to know how the outcome could affect the UK and Europe beyond, this free online course from The University of Edinburgh will help.

Beginning three weeks before voting day, it’ll enable you to join the debate as it happens. You’ll get to engage critically and constructively with the arguments of both sides and other learners, and benefit from the input of leading academics.

Each week there’ll be a live-streamed Question Hour with a panel of experts, as well as video explanations of key issues, interactive debates and role play exercises. We’ll also be conducting regular opinion polls, to see whether you and other learners change your minds.

Taking part will help you answer six key questions:

  1. Why is Scotland having a referendum?
  2. What does ‘Yes’ mean?
  3. What does ‘No’ mean?
  4. What do Scots think?
  5. The Day After
  6. What Next?

You can find out more about the course and its weekly live-streamed seminars in Lead Educator, Alan Convery’s, blog post: “What does ‘independence’ mean for Scotland?

And you can see the results of one of the course’s weekly opinion polls in: “Too close to call: what FutureLearners think of the Scottish referendum.”

Alan has also blogged about some of the challenges of running this course, as the debate unfolds.

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Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at anyone who is interested in finding out more about Scotland’s independence referendum. No prior knowledge is required.

Who will you learn with?

Alan completed his PhD at Strathclyde University in 2013 and is now a Lecturer in Politics at Edinburgh University. He researches and teaches Scottish and British politics.

Who developed the course?

The University of Edinburgh

Founded in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top universities and is globally recognised for research, innovation and high-quality teaching.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • 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

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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You can use the hashtag #edindyref to talk about this course on social media.