Course Description

Course Name

Scottish Government

Session: VGSS3120

Hours & Credits

20 Scotcat Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level


This course aims to equip students with a knowledge and understanding of the governing process in Scotland in a comparative perspective. This means looking not only at how Scottish political institutions, particularly since devolution, differ from their UK counterparts, but also at how they compare to their counterparts in other democracies, particularly those that are decentralised. The course will focus on the role of Scotland in altering, in some significant ways, the Westminster model of democracy, and question how much Scotland?s own political system now resembles what Arend Lijphart calls the consensus model of democracy. We will examine the Scottish Parliament, Scotland?s four different electoral systems, its party system, and its political parties. We will also explore the policy-making process in Scotland and how it has changed since devolution, as well as what is called multilevel governance ? how Scottish governance interacts with that of the United Kingdom and the European Union.
By the end of this course students will be able to:
  • Analyse and explain the importance of Scottish political system
  • Evaluate the works of scholars who have written about the role of political institutions and actors in Scotland
  • Apply the knowledge gained in the process of evaluating and discussing the literature
One essay of between 2,000 and 2,500 words (50%) and one unseen essay-type examination, of a two-hour duration, in which candidates attempt two questions (50%).

*Course content subject to change