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Ballot boxes or badges?

Ballot boxes or badges? Copyrighted image Credit: Various copyrights - please see the page for full details New content
Updated 01 May 2015
As the UK enters the last week of the 2015 election, OpenLearn has lots to offer you if you can't get enough politics - and if you think you've had...

What is a confidence and supply government?

What is a confidence and supply government? Copyrighted image Credit: Photos.com New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 01 May 2015
There's suggestions we might find ourselves with a confidence-and-supply government after May 7th. What does that actually mean - and what does it...

Which party did best from the 2010 - 2015 coalition?

Which party did best from the 2010 - 2015 coalition? Copyright free image Credit: US government image New content
Updated 01 May 2015
Five years on from the coalition agreement, which of the two parties was most successful in achieving their aims?

Immigration views - how the marginal has become mainstream

Immigration views - how the marginal has become mainstream Creative commons image Credit: Gary Edwards New content
Introductory level Duration 15 mins Updated 01 May 2015
The desire for political parties to sound tough on immigration does not come from any factual evidence of immigration having deleterious...

What are bed blockers - and are they signs of a failing NHS?

What are bed blockers - and are they signs of a failing NHS? Copyrighted image Credit: Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 30 Apr 2015
Instead of 'bed blockers' and statistics, it's important to remember that we're talking about people - and their care needs.

How lower tax drew trade unionists to the Tories

How lower tax drew trade unionists to the Tories Copyrighted image Credit: Newsfocus1 | Dreamstime.com New content
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 30 Apr 2015
Alan Shipman explains how a substantial number of manual and professional workers also switched to support Thatcher in the 1979 general election....

Integration: different logics and local factors

Integration: different logics and local factors Creative commons image Credit: Gary Edwards New content
Introductory level Duration 15 mins Updated 29 Apr 2015
In his second piece on immigration, Steve Garner dispels the common misconceptions and confusions in the debate on 'integration'.

Opinion polls in a nutshell

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Opinion polls in a nutshell Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University New content
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 27 Apr 2015
Have opinion polls got you baffled? Fear not - Professor Kevin McConway explains opinion polls in these short videos. 

Is democracy a good thing?

Is democracy a good thing? Creative commons image Credit: Radub85 | Dreamstime.com New content
Intermediate level Duration 10 mins Updated 27 Apr 2015
Is democracy the best way to select who runs our country? Is it unequivocally a good thing? Professor Derek Matravers discusses Plato's argument...

‘Chaos’ became ‘crisis’ – but was the reality so bad?

‘Chaos’ became ‘crisis’ – but was the reality so bad? Creative commons image Credit: Keir Hardie under CC-BY-SA licence New content
Introductory level Duration 15 mins Updated 24 Apr 2015
Tory themed their broadcast around James Callaghan's 'Crisis? What crisis?' which ridiculed Labour's worst time in 1974-79. But was the...

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Political ordering

Free CourseFree Course
Political ordering Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 10 hours Updated 04 Feb 2014
This unit asks questions about what states are and how they are involved in the processes of governing and ordering social life. Beginning from an...

Nationalism, self-determination and secession

Free CourseFree Course
Nationalism, self-determination and secession Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 8 hours Updated 17 Oct 2013
What makes a ‘nation’ and what makes peoples strive for nationhood? This unit will provide you with an introduction to studying political ideas by...

Rights and justice in international relations

Free CourseFree Course
Rights and justice in international relations Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 13 hours Updated 24 Aug 2012
Can the concept of human rights be applied across borders or are rights culturally specific? Is it realistic, or even desirable, to aim at an...

The USA, power and international order: Foreign policy under Obama

Free CourseFree Course
The USA, power and international order: Foreign policy under Obama Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 12 hours Updated 24 Aug 2012
President Obama’s inauguration in 2009 seemed to herald a new era in US foreign policy and international relations. But the Bush years had left a...

Politics, media and war: 9/11 and its aftermaths

Free CourseFree Course
Politics, media and war: 9/11 and its aftermaths Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 84 hours Updated 05 Sep 2011
The terrorist attacks of 9/11 not only cost some 3,000 lives; they also deeply scarred the American consciousness and made a deep impact on US...

Welfare reconstruction

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: AudioAudio
Welfare reconstruction Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 1 hour Updated 26 May 2011
This unit examines the approach adopted by Tony Blair and New Labour to welfare reconstruction in the United Kingdom. Using extracts from speeches...

Wales: Culture and identity

Featuring: AudioAudio
Wales: Culture and identity Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University 2011
Introductory level Duration 1 hour 15 mins Updated 29 Mar 2011
Wales is a vibrant nation with its own language, musical heritage and strong cultural identity. Central to this identity and a source of national...

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Certificate of Higher Education in Social Sciences

CourseCourse
Certificate of Higher Education in Social Sciences Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 1200 hours Updated 06 May 2015
Are you interested in what shapes the lives we lead and the decisions we make? Have you wondered why people continue to smoke when they know the...

Certificate of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Certificate of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Credit: Irochka | Dreamstime.com Updated content
Duration 1200 hours Updated 06 May 2015
If you’re keen to try university study and want to keep your options open, this certificate course is ideal. It’s part of our unique Open...

BA/BSc Open degree

CourseCourse
BA/BSc Open degree Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 06 May 2015
Over 40 per cent of OU students who graduate do so with an Open degree. It’s a statistic we’re proud of – the BA/BSc Open is one of the most...

Diploma of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 06 May 2015
Studying at university level is not just about gaining a degree. We also offer a range of other qualifications, including Certificates and Diplomas...

Diploma of Higher Education in Combined Social Sciences

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Diploma of Higher Education in Combined Social Sciences Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 06 May 2015
Does material consumption make us happier? Is parenting a social as well as an individual activity? What impact is the financial crisis having on...

BA (Honours) Politics, Philosophy and Economics

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BA (Honours) Politics, Philosophy and Economics Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 06 May 2015
Where do social order (and disorder) come from? How can we make ourselves richer, and does society always gain? What does justice mean, how do we...

BA (Honours) Combined Social Sciences

CourseCourse
BA (Honours) Combined Social Sciences Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 06 May 2015
What causes riots? Is commercialisation eroding childhood? Does poverty lead to crime? Social science explores such questions and helps inform...

You and your money: personal finance in context

CourseCourse
You and your money: personal finance in context Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker Updated content
Introductory level Duration 300 hours Updated 06 May 2015 Register by 10 Sep 2015
This practical course builds your financial knowledge and skills, improves your understanding of personal finance and develops your awareness of...

Introducing the social sciences

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Introducing the social sciences Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker Updated content
Introductory level Duration 600 hours Updated 06 May 2015 Register by 10 Sep 2015
This module is an ideal introduction to the social sciences – psychology, social policy and criminology, geography and environment, politics and...

Living political ideas

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Living political ideas Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker Updated content
Advanced level Duration 600 hours Updated 06 May 2015 Register by 10 Sep 2015
This exciting course considers the ways in which political ideas ‘live’, demonstrating their relevance for understanding contemporary issues in...