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Power, dissent, equality: understanding contemporary politics

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Tumultuous events like 9/11 and the war in Iraq have reminded people how vital – and sometimes how deadly – the world of politics can be. Even at the very local level, the everyday politics of schools, hospitals, petitioning and local council debate affects people’s lives. This course invites you into the world of politics in a fresh and accessible way, using a wide variety of case studies drawn from the UK and beyond. It sheds light on the inner workings of power, decision making and protest, and it covers politics from parliament to the street, and the politics of ideas as well as institutions.

Modules at Level 2 assume that you are suitably prepared for study at this level. If you want to take a single module to satisfy your career development needs or pursue particular interests, you don’t need to start at Level 1 but you do need to have adequately prepared yourself for OU study in some other way. Check with our Student Registration & Enquiry Service to make sure that you are sufficiently prepared.

Register for the course


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04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
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Registration opens on 30/04/14

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1625.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£1625.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1465.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£1465.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

See below for information about part time tuition fee loans available for study towards a qualification.

07 Feb 2015 Sep 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2015.

*Fees may vary by country.

What you will study

The course is designed around five core themes, each of which expresses key political dilemmas and debates in the UK and beyond.

Powers and structures explores the meaning and location of power – what is it, and who has it? – in contemporary societies, and asks about some of the more enduring structures within which power is to be found. This includes study of familiar political institutions like the House of Commons in the UK, but just as importantly involves power in our everyday practices as citizens.

Centre and periphery looks at issues like: what is the role of the state in our lives, how is it changing and why? What is nationalism, and why has it revived in the post-Cold War world?

Participation and dissent leads us to look, on the one hand, at voting and elections, and on the other hand at demonstrations and new, unconventional forms of political protest (such as anti-globalisation protest loosely coordinated via internet).

Equality and difference takes us through how we are seen as ‘equal’ and ‘different’ to each other and how this matters politically. As part of that, it leads us to look at the ways in which justice and policy ‘construct’ us as citizens – are we the same or are we different, and how does this feed into how we ought to be treated by governments (and each other)?

And finally, Evidence and argument takes a fresh angle on what counts as evidence and argument in political debate and political science.

Vocational relevance

Courses in government and politics are relevant to a wide range of employment. Politics graduates can be found in all financial and commercial occupations – such as business management, banking and insurance – and in a variety of other professions, including the law and accountancy. They are particularly attracted to the public sector – the civil service, local government and health administration.

Entry

This is a Level 2 course and you need to have the study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, obtained either through Level 1 study with the OU, or by doing equivalent work at another university.

Although the course is self-contained and provides all the resources you need for a full understanding of the subject, it is a Level 2 course and some knowledge of social sciences ideas would be useful. Our Level 1 course Introducing the social sciences (DD101) gives an excellent grounding for this Level 2 course.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

If you have a disability

You will need to make use of a personal computer and the internet. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:

  • help to determine your study requirements and how to request the support that you need  
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
  • using a computer for OU study
  • equipment and other support services that we offer
  • examination arrangements
  • how to contact us for advice and support both before you register and while you are studying.

Study materials

What's included

Course books and website.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this course as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2007 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.6 or later.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. We may also be able to offer group tutorials or day schools that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where your tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the course.

Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

Your final TMA must be submitted on paper.

Future availability

The details given here are for the course starting in October 2014 and February 2015, when it will be available for the last time.

How to register

To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.

Student Reviews

“I'm slightly surprised to read some of the reviews which reckon DD203 is a difficult module with a high workload. ...”
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“This was my second OU module having completed DD101 previously. I found some aspects of this module murder to digest, ...”
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Distance learning

The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information read Distance learning explained.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.
Course facts
About this course:
Course code DD203
Credits 60
OU Level 2
SCQF level 9
FHEQ level 5
Course work includes:
6 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
Examination
No residential school

Course satisfaction survey

See the satisfaction survey results for this course.

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