SCOTTISH POLITICS AND POLICY

SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3L222105
Module Leader n/a
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Politics
Trimesters
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module is designed to give insight and grounding to the study of contemporary Scottish politics and public policy at a particularly important time in the development of Scottish politics and in Scotland's relationship with other countries in the UK and beyond. The module will initially be placed in Scotland's political and historical context. It will track the pathway to devolution and give an account of the current powers of the Scottish Parliament. Second, the module will assess and evaluate elements of the Scottish political system including political parties, voting and electoral behaviour. There will also be an indication and outlining of the role of the media in Scottish politics. Third, elements of the Scottish policy system will be identified, elaborated and evaluated: political/policy institutions including the civil service; key issues from a range of policy domains including education, local government, social policy, health policy. The module will conclude with an outlining of some scenarios for Scotland's future. It is intended to invite an external guest lecturer, someone prominent in the Scottish political or public policy community, to address and present a session to students if possible.

Syllabus

Scottish politics and policy: the historical and cultural context Scottish politics and policy: the historical and political context The trajectory to devolution Scottish devolution: powers Scotland, UK and asymmetric devolution Contemporary politics of Scotland 1 Contemporary politics of Scotland 2: Scotland and Europe Scottish politics and the media Political and policy institutions Scottish policy domains 1 (from education, health, local government, social policy) Scottish policy domains 2 (as above) Scottish policy domains 3 (as above) Scottish political futures

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:1. Appreciate the historical context of Scotland's current political and policy environment2. Identify the key events and forces in the approach to devolution 3. Identify and evaluate the range of devolved, reserved and 'intermediate' powers of the Scottish Parliament; appreciate the asymmetric nature of devolution in the UK; demonstrate an understanding of Scotland's position in Europe.4. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of key elements of the contemporary Scottish political system including political parties, electoral behaviour and the role played by the media.5. Identify and show a critical awareness of a range of political and policy institutions, ranging from the civil service, arms length bodies, non state actors and third and voluntary sectors 6. Understand the range of policy domains upon which the Scottish Government has a locus ranging from education to health to social policy; and to evaluate the political and governance arrangements for forming and managing policy in these domains

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The teaching and learning strategy will be based on lectures providing essential background information, informed by current literature and research, and weekly seminars providing a focus point for students developing independent learning: seminar activities will be based on students undertaking work via directed as well as independent learning. Seminar activities will be structured to ensure students are helped to develop critical awareness of contemporary Scottish politics and public policy. Teaching and learning is driven by a student centred approach where the module team facilitates student learning and personal development via a blended learning use of thematic lectures, student centred seminars (with individual and group based activities), employing the use of on line resources, like briefings, podcasts and blogs as well as 'traditional' literature and journal articles. The programme will be research led and will reflect contemporary scholarship. The assessment strategy is based on two modes of assessment. First, a course work essay (2500 words) constitutes 40% of the overall assessment. Second, a 3 hour exam worth 60% of overall assessment.

Indicative Reading

Books: Cairney, P. (2011) The Scottish Political System Since Devolution, Imprint Academic Cairney, P. and McGarvey, N. (2013) (second edition) Scottish Politcs. An Introduction, Palgrave MacMillan Keating, M. (2010) (second edition) The Government of Scotland, Edinburgh University Press Kuhn, R. (2007) Politics and the Media in Britain , Palgrave Wilson, D. and Game, C. (2011 ) Local Government in the United Kingdom (5 th edition), Palgrave MacMillan Journals: British Journal of Politics and International Relations Local Government Studies Parliamentary Affairs Public Administration Public Money and Management Public Policy and Administration Publius Regional Studies Scottish Affairs Web-sites <http://www.parliament.co.uk> <http://www.scottish.parliament.uk> <http://www.caledonianmercury.com> <http://www.scottishreview.net>

Transferrable Skills

Analytical skills, in relation to developing reasoned and evidence based argument Critical thinking Independent study Personal organisation and time management Oral and written communication Group working

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
A Custom Activity 70.00
A Custom Activity 86.00
a Custom Activity 12.00
A Custom Activity 20.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 3.00 60.00 35% 3 hour unseen
Coursework 1 n/a 40.00 35% essay 2,500 words