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Mass surveillance just doesn’t work

Mass surveillance just doesn’t work Copyrighted image Credit: Flynt | Dreamstime.com New content
Introductory level Duration 15 mins Updated 10 Dec 2014
Are the government's plans (or hopes) to collect information on everyone and everything infeasible? 

Eric Hobsbawm and MI5

Eric Hobsbawm and MI5 Creative commons image Credit: Catherine Pain
Updated 02 Dec 2014
He was an increasingly isolated figure, regarded at the time with a contempt and hostility from some Party apparatchiks that exceeded even MI5...

Interstellar: a dangerous fantasy of US colonialism?

Interstellar: a dangerous fantasy of US colonialism? Copyrighted image Credit: Lagron49 | Dreamstime.com - Anne Hathaway Photo
Updated 19 Nov 2014
Anne Hathaway's space movie puts engineers and scientists at the heart of the story - but is let down by an American colonialist message, says...

The Great Fall: How it happened

The Great Fall: How it happened Copyrighted image Credit: BBC
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 03 Nov 2014
How did the fall of the Berlin Wall come about? 

Fear & loathing on the campaign trail

Fear & loathing on the campaign trail Copyright free image Credit: Official White House photo by Pete Souza
Updated 02 Nov 2014
The blame game allows these commonly quite similar parties in practice to distinguish themselves from each other in rhetoric, says Peter Bloom.

Green shade: Why debates without the party aren't worth the effort

Green shade: Why debates without the party aren't worth the effort Creative commons image Credit: Scottish Greens under CC-BY licence
Updated 31 Oct 2014
Plans for a leaders' debate prior to the 2015 election exclude The Green Party - undermining the value of the debate, says Peter Bloom.

Hold the hurrahs; let's have a viva: Testing Russell Brand's ideas

Hold the hurrahs; let's have a viva: Testing Russell Brand's ideas Creative commons image Credit: Eva Rindali under CC-BY-SA licence
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 30 Oct 2014
Giving Russell Brand a platform for his vague ideas is worrying if we don't treat them with due rigour, argues Robert Herian

Friday Thinker: Mayors and local politics

Friday Thinker: Mayors and local politics Copyrighted image Credit: Randymir | Dreamstime.com - Clint Eastwood Photo
Updated 23 Oct 2014
The OU Social Sciences Facebook community are looking at local democracy this week - and the impact mayors can have on their cities. Explore some...

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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 30 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 19 Dec 2014
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 19 Dec 2014
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 3000 hours Updated 19 Dec 2014
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 19 Dec 2014
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 Updated content
Duration 2400 hours Updated 19 Dec 2014
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 Updated content
Duration 3600 hours Updated 19 Dec 2014
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 19 Dec 2014
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 19 Dec 2014 Register by 08 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 Updated content
Introductory level Duration 600 hours Updated 19 Dec 2014 Register by 08 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 Updated content
Advanced level Duration 600 hours Updated 19 Dec 2014 Register by 10 Sep 2015
This exciting course considers the ways in which political ideas ‘live’, demonstrating their relevance for understanding contemporary issues in...