Explore.
Watch, listen, debate & discover with our experts

RSS Icon

What do I need to know about the SIM hack?

What do I need to know about the SIM hack? Creative commons image Credit: yum9me under CC-BY-NC-ND licence New content
Duration 5 mins Updated 25 Feb 2015
Revelations that security forces have broken the protection of mobile phone technology are a real concern. Mike Richards explains why - and how the...

Crisis. What Crisis?

Crisis. What Crisis?         Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker
Intermediate level Duration 5 mins Updated 16 Feb 2015
What provided the background for the 1979 Winter of Discontent and why did this background contribute to the James Callaghan's loss of power? 

The spaces of politics

Featuring: VideoVideo
The spaces of politics Creative commons image Credit: The Open University
Intermediate level Duration 20 mins Updated 13 Feb 2015
What are the spaces of politics beyond the usual buildings of parliament? Three Open University academics tell us in this video. 

Inside the Commons: Behind-the-scenes with Tim Stirzaker

Featuring: VideoVideo
Inside the Commons: Behind-the-scenes with Tim Stirzaker Copyrighted image Credit: BBC
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 09 Feb 2015
What obstacles and rewards were involved in producing Inside the Commons? Richard Heffernan talks to the producer, Tim Stirzaker. 

Inside the Commons: Behind-the-scenes with Michael Cockerell

Featuring: VideoVideo
Inside the Commons: Behind-the-scenes with Michael Cockerell Copyrighted image Credit: BBC
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 09 Feb 2015
Michael Cockerell, political documentary maker and presenter of Inside the Commons, provides an exclusive insight into how the series came about.

Political insights: Prime Minister's Questions

Featuring: VideoVideo
Political insights: Prime Minister's Questions Creative commons image Credit: The Open University
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 29 Jan 2015
Are PMQs just a political Punch and Judy? Top parliamentary sketchwriters join Open University academic Richard Heffernan in this video discussion.

Thirty-five winters of discontent

Thirty-five winters of discontent Creative commons image Credit: Highways Agency under CC-BY licence
Updated 28 Jan 2015
Since the original 1978/79 Winter Of Discontent, any setback at any time between late summer and Easter has been garlanded with the same grim title.

General Election 2015 - 100 days to go: Winter of Discontent

Featuring: VideoVideo
General Election 2015 - 100 days to go: Winter of Discontent Copyrighted image Credit: BBC
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 26 Jan 2015
Find out why the events of the 1979 Winter of Discontent went down in political folklore. 

Europe's lost art of money-making

Europe's lost art of money-making Creative commons image Credit: Gary Edwards
Duration 10 mins Updated 23 Jan 2015
European Central Bank just announced its first step into Quantitative Easing (QE), but can injecting money into the economy single-handedly save...

Poverty in Scotland 2014: The Independence Referendum and Beyond

Poverty in Scotland 2014: The Independence Referendum and Beyond Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University
Updated 21 Jan 2015
Poverty in Scotland 2014 looks at the September 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum and the different constitutional futures that were then...

Free OpenLearn courses.
Free extracts from OU course materials

RSS Icon

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...

Become an OU student.
Change your life with a qualification

RSS Icon

Certificate of Higher Education in Social Sciences

CourseCourse
Certificate of Higher Education in Social Sciences Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker
Duration 1200 hours Updated 09 Feb 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
Duration 1200 hours Updated 09 Feb 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
Duration 3000 hours Updated 09 Feb 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
Duration 2400 hours Updated 09 Feb 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

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education in Combined Social Sciences Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime
Duration 2400 hours Updated 09 Feb 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

CourseCourse
BA (Honours) Politics, Philosophy and Economics Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime
Duration 3600 hours Updated 09 Feb 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
Duration 3600 hours Updated 09 Feb 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
Introductory level Duration 300 hours Updated 09 Feb 2015 Register by 15 Jan 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

CourseCourse
Introducing the social sciences Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker
Introductory level Duration 600 hours Updated 09 Feb 2015 Register by 15 Jan 2015
This module is an ideal introduction to the social sciences – psychology, social policy and criminology, geography and environment, politics and...

Living political ideas

CourseCourse
Living political ideas Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker
Advanced level Duration 600 hours Updated 09 Feb 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...