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Introduction to Political Systems and Power in the UK and USA

Learn about who is more powerful in theory and in practice – the UK Prime Minister or the US President.

475 enrolled on this course

No10 Downing street door and the White House in Washington

Introduction to Political Systems and Power in the UK and USA

475 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Explore the political power structures of the United Kingdom and United States

One of the most interesting political debates of recent years is who is more powerful – the UK Prime Minister or the US President.

On this four-week course, you’ll answer this question by examining the political structures of each country and their impact on POTUS and the PM’s agendas.

Examine the role of parliament and congress in relation to both world leaders

The power that the President and Prime Minister wield is built on a complex foundation of political structures.

On this course, you’ll explore the differences between the UK and US systems and how the constitutions of each country impact the passing of laws and policies.

With this knowledge, you’ll learn the limitations of each leader’s role and how leaders have used or abused these systems to try and further their own agendas.

Compare the role of the judicial system in each country and see which is more powerful

Both the US and UK supreme courts have been accused of acting increasingly politically in recent years.

On this course, you’ll explore the powers of each court and how this affects the power of both leaders.

You’ll be able to explain connections between the supreme courts and the governance of each country and how this affects political strategies in each government.

Develop your debating skills by investigating current political issues

Using recent political events as case studies, you’ll form opinions on each leader’s level of power and learn the skills to argue in political forums.

By the end of this course, you’ll understand the political structures within the UK and US. With this understanding, you’ll have developed your debating skills and be able to form a cohesive answer to the question, ‘Who is more powerful in theory and in practice, the UK Prime Minister or the US President?’

What topics will you cover?

Week 1 - what a constitution is, the differences between the constitutions in the UK and the US and most importantly what this means for Prime Ministerial and Presidential power.

Week 2 - the power of the Prime Minister and President in relation to how secure their position.

Week 3 - the role that Parliament and Congress play in relation to Prime Ministerial and Presidential power.

Week 4 - the differing judicial systems in the UK and US including the powers of the UK Supreme Court and US Supreme Court.

Throughout the course you will:

  • Evaluate the key political institutions within the systems of government in the UK and US
  • Explore the governmental systems in the UK and US through a series of fascinating case studies and examples
  • Compare the systems of government in the UK and US
  • Critique the systems of government in the UK and US
  • Debate in forums, which political system is more effective
  • Discuss key current political issues in the UK and US
  • Solve the answer to the question ‘Who is more powerful in theory and in practice, the UK Prime Minister or the US President, based on what you have learnt in this course.

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...

  • Evaluate how the key political institutions work within the systems of government in the UK and US.
  • Explore the governmental systems in the UK and US through a series of fascinating case studies and examples.
  • Compare the systems of government in the UK and US.
  • Critique the systems of government in the UK and US.
  • Debate, in forums, which political system is more effective.
  • Discuss key current political issues in the UK and US.
  • Solve the answer to the question 'Who is more powerful in theory and in practice, the UK Prime Minister or the US President?' based on what you have learnt in this course.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone wanting to understand how the key political institutions work within the systems of government in the UK and USA.

It would be particularly useful for anyone considering a Politics related course at A-level or university as well as those already studying Politics who want to revise key topics.

What software or tools do you need?

To take part in this course you will need access to the internet and speakers (built within a laptop/ PC or phone would be fine) to listen to or watch the video content. This course could be completed on a smart phone or laptop or PC.

Who will you learn with?

I have taught A-Level Politics since 2010. I completed a PhD in British Politics at the University of Manchester in 2017 and have co-written a book titled 'US Politics Annual Update 2022'.

Who developed the course?

Manchester Grammar School

Our history dates back to the time of Henry VIII, when The Manchester Grammar School was founded in 1515 by Hugh Oldham, Bishop of Exeter, to provide ‘godliness and good learning’ to the poor boys of Manchester.

The School proceeded to build a reputation as one of the country’s leading educational establishments, a position it still holds today as an independent day school.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$19.99

For the first month. 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
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$89/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

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

Limited access

Free

Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 22 Apr 2023

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

T&Cs apply.

Learning on FutureLearn

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  • 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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