What is politics?
What is politics?

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

What is politics?

1 Politics: the extraordinary and the ordinary

As you are obviously interested in studying politics, you probably already have a sense that politics is important. You may also have developed some ideas of what politics is all about.

Activity 1

Timing: About 5 minutes

Jot down your preliminary thoughts on what politics is and why it is important.

To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Keep these thoughts in mind as you progress through the material in this course. See how they compare with the different definitions of politics and the variety of views you will encounter on why politics is important. You’ll have a chance to revisit and review your thoughts at the end of the course.

Let’s begin by considering the importance of politics. First we’ll look at the ‘extraordinary’ face of politics, at some of the attention- and headline-grabbing global political events. We will then turn to the more ‘ordinary’ face of politics and consider the role politics plays in our everyday lives.

DD211_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371