Politics 1A: Introduction to Politics POLITIC1001

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The course introduces students to key theories, concepts and structures in the study of politics. We begin by considering core conceptualisations of politics before exploring issues and institutions at the national level such as elections, political parties and organised interests. We then examine multilevel governance through devolution, federalism, and international organisations.


Lectures: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 1-2pm.
As required

Requirements of Entry

Only open to level 1 students.

Excluded Courses





Essay (40%)
Knowledge and Skills Set Exercises (15%)

Final Exam (45%)

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the fundamentals of politics by exploring basic political concepts and themes in a British context. In the process of exploring these basic concepts and themes, students will be exposed to the core components of British and Scottish politics, including political institutions and organisations - plus various forms of political participation. Students will also learn about the international organisations the UK is associated with, facilitating a better understanding of Britain's global role and the links between domestic and international politics.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:  

■ identify the key institutional components of a liberal-democratic political systems, and to distinguish the primary from the secondary functions of political institutions; 

■ isolate, and to compare, the effects individuals have on political institutions, and the effects that institutions have on individuals;  

■ distinguish empirical and normative political arguments;  

■ analyse political concepts and theories;  

■ to apply those political concepts and theories to 'real world' examples and case studies;  

■ to interpret quantitative evidence. 


Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Submission of the course essay and completion of the examination. Achievement of a minimum of Grade G.