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Online course

Introduction to the UK Parliament: People, Processes and Public Participation

Learn about the UK Parliament with this free online course - explore the work of Parliament and find out how it’s evolving.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Introduction to the UK Parliament: People, Processes and Public Participation

Upgrade - $69
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Why join the course?

This free online course will introduce you to the work and role of the UK Parliament. From setting the age at which we start school to deciding pension policy, the UK Parliament makes laws that impact our lives, our work and our wider society.

Learn what Parliament is and does

You will begin by looking at what Parliament is, how it is different from government and how it has changed and evolved over hundreds of years. You will find out about the work of the House of Commons and the House of Lords and discover how things work in the Chambers and beyond on a day-to-day basis.

Learn how Parliament scrutinises government

Parliament is vital in scrutinising the work of government; on this course you’ll learn what this looks like in practice. You will consider the different tools MPs and members of the House of Lords use to check and challenge the work of government to ensure its decisions are transparent, efficient and fair. You will examine the purpose and role of different types of questions, discover some of the conventions of debate and explore the work of select committees.

Learn how Parliament is evolving

Towards the end of the course, you will examine the process of law making and discover the journey of a Bill. You will also explore the range of opportunities open to citizens, which enable you to engage with and influence the UK Parliament.

What topics will you cover?

The course covered topics including;

• the difference between Parliament and Government including differing roles and responsibilities
• the three parts of Parliament and the role Parliament plays in scrutinising the work of the Government
• an introduction to the work of the House of Commons and the House of Lords
• how Parliamentary Questions are used by MPs and members of the House of Lords to hold the Government to account
• the difference between oral and written questions, and how questions can be used to seek immediate answers on urgent or important matters
• what happens during Prime Minister’s Questions and public perceptions of PMQs
• debates in Parliament, including some of the rules and conventions
• the role and work of select committees
• the different types of Bill, and the process of how a Bill becomes a law
• the effect that changes in the law can have on individuals and on society, with reference to specific case studies
• the different ways the public can input in the work of the UK Parliament.

When would you like to start?

  • Available now
  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

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

  • Develop your understanding of the difference between Parliament and Government.
  • Explore how members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords scrutinise the work of the Government through questions, debates and select committees.
  • Develop your understanding of how Bills become law.
  • Reflect on the different ways people can participate with the work of the UK Parliament.

Who is the course for?

There are no special requirements for this course. This is an introductory course and is open to everyone who has an interest in developing their understanding of the UK Parliament.

Who will you learn with?

Claire Bogue

Senior Learning Projects Officer

I work in the House of Commons Participation team which seeks to promote understanding of and engagement with the work of the UK Parliament.

Fiona Green

Public Enquiries Manager

I work in the House of Commons Enquiry Service answering questions and explaining the work and role of the House of Commons.

Jean Fessey

Public Enquiries Officer for the House of Commons

Ken Manson

I'm a content manager at the House of Lords. My work includes keeping parliament.uk up to date, running House of Lords social media accounts, and collaborating with colleagues on projects like this.

Debbie Cesvette

Public Enquiries Officer for the House of Commons

Who developed the course?

The UK Parliament represents the people of the United Kingdom and makes decisions that affect us all.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $69 (+ shipping) you'll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

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  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

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  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your LinkedIn or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete.

Upgrade


Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join: