Course Description

Course Name

Politics and Policy Making in Scotland

Session: VSRS3121

Hours & Credits

20 SCQF Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


This module is designed to investigate the dynamics of politics and public policy in Scotland (primarily focusing on the post-99 devolution era).  In seminars we consider the main ways to explain how and why policymakers make decisions in a Scottish context.  We discuss the role and practices of policymaking institutions in Scotland, considering (when relevant) how they interact with other policymaking institutions in the UK and EU.  We consider the role of ‘pressure participants’ such as interest groups.  We compare the difference between rhetoric and reality, examining the way in which the Scottish political system was designed to operate, and how it actually operates in practice.  We compare Scottish policymaking with comparable political systems, considering key distinctions such as between majoritarian and consensus democracies. We consider the extent to which policies in Scotland converge or diverge with policies in the rest of the UK. For the course assessment, each student selects a policy issue that they are particularly interested in, outlines the main events and seeks to explain those events.  The aim is to encourage students to show some research initiative and share and compare their findings with their peers

*Course content subject to change