Free course

What is politics?

Free statement of participation on completion

This free course, What is politics?, introduces you to the world of politics. It is dedicated primarily to answering the question of what politics is. Although the question might seem rather simple, it elicits various, often contradictory responses. As you will realise, in politics as in much of the humanities and social sciences definitive answers are difficult to come by. What politics is and equally, who does it, and where it is done are hotly debated and highly contested. This OpenLearn course will introduce you to some of these debates, and their implications for the study and practice of politics.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand the competing interpretations of what politics is, who does it and where it is done
  • grasp the importance of politics and the variety of ways in which politics affects your everyday life
  • better understand the contestability of concepts in politics, and the implications of such contestability for the practice and study of politics.