BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics

Politics, philosophy, and economics are fundamental to understanding how modern societies are organized and run. By studying within an effective interactive environment, students will acquire a set of skills that are in high demand across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. While the graduates of this program have been described as 'graduates of the degree [...]

Politics, philosophy, and economics are fundamental to understanding how modern societies are organized and run. By studying within an effective interactive environment, students will acquire a set of skills that are in high demand across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. While the graduates of this program have been described as ‘graduates of the degree that run the state’, this mix is ​​best viewed as a study of how countries are run, what motivates and constrains their rulers and their inhabitants, and how social order and prosperity are best understood and strengthened. All three disciplines are presented in a modern format, covering alternative as well as ‘mainstream’ curricula and firmly rooted in the real world.

Key features of the course

  • Understand the discussions that dominate the daily news and look beyond the headlines
    Learn skills and techniques to help you analyze, present, and contribute to the discussion
  • Discover how public arguments and policies are built in theory and tested in practice
  • Increase your employability in the private and public sectors
  • Enjoy the synergies between three complementary majors while studying a full curriculum in each of them

The first stage 120 Credits

1
Understanding politics “ideas and institutions in the modern world”

What is politics? Who is engaged in politics locally, nationally and internationally? How do we study politics? This online module answers questions like these and explores how political ideas, institutions and processes help govern our world. Using a range of study materials you'll explore the interrelationships between politicians, pundits and publics. You'll learn the key practical skills that are used to explore and explain the ways in which politics, in all its forms, helps order the social world and provide for the governance of persons and the administration of things.

What you will study

This module is explored in the following six blocks.

Section 1: Introduction

The first block focuses on the core question: What is politics? By examining the many interpretations and impacts of this question, the block addresses ‘who?’ or ‘what?’ is political, exploring the spaces and places ‘where’ politics is conducted and considers ‘how?’ and ‘why?’ politics is best practised or studied.

Section 2: Political concepts

You'll explore political concepts and see how ideas shape how we think about, talk about and practise politics. You'll look at key concepts such as freedom, equality, power and sovereignty and examine how ideas can influence the social world and so offer helpful answers to urgent political questions.

Section 3: Ideas and ideologies

This block examines how concepts, once turned into ideologies, can be taken up and made use of by practitioners of politics and by the public. By being produced and consumed in a number of ‘public’ and ‘private’ locations, ideologies such as conservatism, liberalism, socialism and feminism offer explanatory frameworks which organise our opinions, help us interpret and navigate the political world, and provide us with some sense of identity.

Section 4: Political institutions in liberal democracies

You'll look at political institutions in liberal democracies, comparing and contrasting the very different political systems of two particular nations, the UK and the US. This block outlines their different executive, legislative and judicial arrangements, explains the structures of their constitutions, explores the political roles of the Prime Minister and the President, political parties, electoral politics, interest groups and social movements.

Section 5: Global politics

You'll investigate global politics by looking at the interrelationship of the ‘national’ to the ‘international’, the ‘local’ to the ‘global’. The block introduces you to key themes and perspectives in the study of international politics, looking at the role of international institutions, non-state actors and issues, exploring the ways in which globalisation is making the world smaller and more interlinked.

Section 6: Revision

The module concludes by revising the key concerns, issues and arguments raised in the previous blocks.

Supporting study materials

The module is delivered online via the module website, which includes all study support, a multiplicity of online text, audio and visual assets, together with two printed module books.

You will learn

You will acquire and apply knowledge and understanding of key political debates, applying these to your understanding of the contemporary social world. This will help you explain and evaluate issues of ethical, social, political, policy and public concern, with the ability to assess their impact on real-world institutions and events.

As well as building your interdisciplinary social science knowledge, you will develop practical and transferable skills. These include critical thinking; report and essay writing; making presentations; ICT skills; collaborative working skills; synthesising and applying knowledge. You will also learn how to:

manage your time effectively, organising and completing a programme of work to a specified standard

learn from feedback from others

critically reflect on your own learning.

What's included

You’ll be provided with two printed module books and access to the module website, where the majority of the module content is delivered. The website includes:

a week-by-week study planner

module materials

audio and video content

assessment guide

online tutorials and forums.


2
You and your money

This innovative module sets personal finance against its wider social, economic and political background. You'll be provided with a gentle introduction to aspects of economics, while also gaining practical tools and ideas on how to manage your own money effectively. The module is structured around four themes: the changing economic, political and social context; individuals, households and other relationships; economics and the real world; and the life course and financial planning. You'll study income, expenditure, debt, savings and investments, housing, insurance, pensions and caring, critically appraising the balance between personal and social responsibility for financial well-being.

What you will study

This module has three primary aims to:

  • give you the knowledge, skills, tools and confidence to manage your own money well
  • provide an introduction to the social sciences, especially economics, relating them to the real world in which we live
  • gently build and practise your study skills and employability skills as a strong foundation for your further studies at the OU and life beyond.

The study weeks are arranged in pairs with each pair devoted to a different topic. In the first week of each pair, you’ll read a chapter in the module textbook. This textbook has been specially written for this module and includes lots of activities to help reflect on the material, test your understanding and apply the ideas to your own finances. In the second week, you’ll consolidate your learning through a rich mixture of video, audio clips, slideshows, activities and interactive tools.

You can use the interactive tools to understand your own finances. For example, how tax affects your earnings, how much you’d need to save to reach a goal, what the repayments would be on a loan or mortgage, and your options for building up enough pension savings.

Throughout the module, you’ll share in the lives of 12 households, two each from the UK, USA, Germany, Sweden, Brazil and India, so you can compare financial experiences from across the globe and the factors that influence them.

Here is a taste of what you’ll study in each pair of weeks:

  • Setting the context. An introduction to the module themes. This includes some major world trends, such as ageing populations and the march of technology which are changing the demands on our money. You’ll look at the behavioural traits we all have that influence the way we interact with our finances, firms and each other.
  • Income. What influences pay, including worker power and gender issues. How the tax and benefits system affects your income and can be used to relieve poverty and reduce inequality. The way income flows between the different sectors of the economy.
  • Expenditure. Why we spend on what we do from rational choices about meeting our needs to the social factors and marketing influences that work on our more subtle desires for belonging or displaying our worth. In small teams with your fellow students, you’ll explore the world of symbolic advertising. Using cash-flow and budgeting to control your household’s spending.
  • Debt. Understanding the good as well as dark side of debt. How to identify the best ways to borrow and be aware of hidden costs. Using a household balance sheet to check whether you are vulnerable to debt problems. How household debt contributes to economic growth but perversely can bring down economies.
  • Savings and investments. Why low-risk products promising amazing returns simply don’t exist. Choosing the right products for different types of goals. Navigating the risk-return trade-off, with strategies for managing stock-market risk. Why saving matters to the economy.
  • Housing. How, in many countries, homes are more than just a place to live and may be driving a wedge between younger and older generations. Using the economic model of supply and demand, you’ll explore what influences house prices and analyse different solutions to making homes affordable.
  • Insurance. The role of insurance in building your financial resilience – your ability to withstand and recover from shocks and life events. The principle of risk-sharing and how it is being undermined by Big Data and other technological changes.
  • Pensions. The implications for you personally and society as a whole of saving for a pension and the ageing population. How saving for the long-term means battling our behavioural traits. The way different pensions work and what that means for the choices you make and the risks you run.
  • Caring and sharing. The short-term and long-term consequences of decisions about having a family and the social norms that surround unpaid work. The choices households and society face about caring for the elderly.
  • Personal finance in context. What does it mean to be ‘financially capable’? What are the options for society if all individuals and households are to enjoy at least a minimum level of well-being? 
What's included

You will be provided with a textbook that is written especially for this module and accounts for 50% of the study. The rest of the study uses the module website which includes:

a welcome forum at the start of the module 

a week-by-week study planner

module materials

cluster forum where you can communicate with your tutor 

10 interactive tools used in your study and can help manage your money

audio and video content

assessment guide

online tutorials and forums.

3
Economics in context

Why are markets so powerful in most economies today? What is the role of the government in different economies, and how does this role shape opportunities of different people and firms? What explains global inequalities? Why is economic growth such a key economic goal in most countries today? Are there other goals economies could pursue? You'll unravel these and similar questions using insights from recent history, key economic thinkers, and drawing on economic perspectives and examples. This module is a building block towards a critical perspective on economics and economic choices for our daily lives.

What you will study

This module primarily aims to:

provide you with foundations of economics and an initial set of skills and tools economists use

provide an insight into how economics and the economies have evolved over time

engage you with a large number of perspectives within and around the discipline of economics, and to embed standard economics in context.

There are three blocks of study as follows: 

Section 1

This provides a detailed historical analysis of how the UK economy, and its interactions with other economies, has changed since the 1700s. You'll look at some of the reasons why the Industrial Revolution occurred in the UK at that time. It also explores the themes of the module: change, agents and success, navigating through events in economic history, and in economics as a discipline.

Section 2

In this block you'll explore the market and the role of markets in societies. The view of economics that looks at economic agents and their motives in isolation is the foundation to thinking about markets as the interactions between these agents, and their measures of success; and also how markets operate within economies that have organised themselves, and their main economic activities, in particular ways. You'll look at the competitive model of the market and as economists often analyse formal models using diagrams – a key skill in the economist’s toolkit – extensive use of demand and supply diagrams is made to explain how the model works.

Section 3

This third block looks at economies in a more holistic way, critically reflecting on the best way of organising economic activities, and striking a balance between market activity and government intervention. The key areas that are explored are employment, industry and trade. You'll return to discussions of economics across time and place to explore the experiences and evolution of markets under different types of economic systems. This block will also give you the chance to measure and explain success through the use and collection of data sources, which is another important skill in the economist’s toolkit.

What's included

The module is delivered through a textbook, written especially for the module, and the module website which includes: 

a week-by-week study planner, your starting point every week

an online version of the textbook

module materials and activities

audio and video content

assignment details and submission section

online tutorial access.

4
Investigating the social world

This multidisciplinary module uses a range of learning technologies to help you understand how social scientists investigate the social world. Drawing on the subjects of criminology, social policy, economics, environmental studies, geography, international studies, politics and sociology, you'll explore a wide range of everyday topics. Through the module’s investigative and thematic approach you’ll learn the methods, perspectives and tools of the social sciences, further developing your analytical and evaluative skills. This module will help you decide your specialisation at level 2, and equip you with a range of skills for further independent study, and for your personal and working life.

What you will study

This module consists of four blocks of study that take an international perspective to exploring the structure of the social world.

Block 1, the introductory block, uses the topic of money to introduce you to the way the social sciences investigate the social world.

Block 2 uses the topic of home and the theme of inequality to explore how five different social science perspectives understand different meanings and issues around what home is, or what it can be. The learning and teaching materials in this block focus on helping you develop your questioning and evidencing skills.

Block 3 looks at the political, economic and geographical aspects of responsibility for the environment and questions around the use of its resources. The theme of rights is used to look at different aspects of this key contemporary issue. The learning and teaching materials in this block focus on helping you develop your analysing and evaluating skills.

Block 4 explores boundaries – social, policy, legal and others – and how they structure the world. The theme of justice is used to understand key issues such as immigration, criminalisation, Fairtrade policies and noise as examples of boundaries. The learning and teaching materials in this block focus on helping you develop your debating and communicating skills.

You will learn

In this module you'll learn:

the ways in which the social sciences investigate the social world through questioning, analysing, evaluating and engaging

how the social sciences investigate familiar and contemporary social issues

about debates at the centre of life in the contemporary world.

You’ll also develop an awareness of a range of different disciplinary approaches in the social sciences and you will gain confidence and skills in:

studying and accessing information from a range of sources

constructing arguments

reading, interpreting and evaluating evidence

presenting and communicating ideas and information in a variety of formats

managing your time

communicating effectively

learning from feedback

reflecting on your own learning.

What's included

You’ll be provided with two printed module textbooks, an introductory booklet and have access to a module website, which includes:

a week-by-week study planner

module materials

audio and video content

assignment details and submission section

online tutorial access.


The second stage 120 Credits

1
Running the economy

This module responds to the need to understand the problems of running national and global economies in the wake of a major economic crisis. You'll start with macroeconomics, looking at how economies work from global and integrated perspectives, before moving on to microeconomics, drilling down into the behaviour of people, firms and governments. This combined analysis allows you to start exploring how policy affects, and is affected by, the economy and its constituent members. Using a simulator, you'll apply what you have learned, taking on the role of an economic analyst to make or advise on policy choices.

What you will study

You'll begin by developing an understanding of the sources and nature of the economic crisis in 2008 and the economic theories and policy vehicles for dealing with it. Your journey through the module will tackle key issues including:

the economic debates about the role of demand stimulus vs. fiscal constraint as the routes to recovery, monetary policy and the scope for supply side restructuring and growth

the challenge of international competition for policy makers in different parts of the globe, including low cost Asian suppliers, problems of European export competitiveness and the sources and location of innovation

the problems engendered by global imbalances in balance of payments (deficits and surpluses), credit and debt, rising inequality and the need for ‘rebalancing’ economies.

In the latter part of the module you’ll cover the microeconomic tools open to governments in trying to tackle some of these issues; regulation and privatisation/nationalisation; trade restriction and promotion; welfare state policies including health and education; international collaborations and harmonisation of policies.

Throughout the module you'll make extensive use of simulators, interviews, case studies and data to provoke reflection, analysis and deeper learning.

This module will be of interest to anyone who wants, at an introductory level, to:

learn how to think as an economist

understand the tools used by economists

construct and understand informed opinions about policy choices and the state of economies.

You will learn

You will emerge with a good grasp of some fundamentals of economic theory – both macro- and microeconomic – including the Keynesian aggregate demand model, the theory behind central bank inflation targeting and the application of basic game theory. In addition, you will gain an understanding of some key theoretical and policy debates in economics, as well as confidence in applying these theories and concepts to major economic policy challenges.

This module has a student-centred approach in developing and applying economic theories and debates to serious worldwide economic problems and the critical assessment of proposed solutions. The transferable and vocational skills you’ll gain include the ability to:

interpret, manipulate and critique economic evidence, including interpreting numerical data and basic statistical skills

compare and contrast the most prominent economic traditions and theories from the 1930s to the present day, widely used in public debate

build and support arguments in discussion and written forms

use and present modelling and simulation as methods of analysis of economic problems, including simulating the macroeconomy under different policy scenarios

engage in debates with other students, substantiating your arguments with economic theory and evidence.

What's included

You’ll be provided with a module textbook and have access to a module website, which includes:

a week-by-week study planner

module materials

interactive online activities

audio and video content

assessment guide

online tutorials and forums


2
Exploring philosophy

This introduction to philosophy considers fundamental questions from six core areas: the self; philosophy of religion; ethics; knowledge and science; the mind; and political philosophy. Examples of these questions are What makes me ‘Me’? Does God exist? Why should I act morally? Can I trust science? How can I, a physical being, have thoughts and emotions? Should I obey laws I disagree with? Philosophers – both past and present – have offered radically diverging answers to these and the other questions asked in this module. Guided engagement with this philosophical tradition will provide the platform for you to tackle the big questions of philosophy for yourself.

What you will study

This module teaches the basics of philosophy via the six module books described below. These will guide you carefully through selected classic readings from the set book, Western Philosophy: An Anthology, 2nd edition, edited by John Cottingham (Blackwell). The discussion in the module books is supported by extensive audio interviews with prominent present day philosophers.

The skills and topics taught have a value and resonance not limited to academic study, though the module does give a sound basis for advanced study in philosophy and other subjects.

Section 1: The self 

This opening book of the module explores a range of questions about the self and personal identity through classic readings by John Locke and David Hume and more recent writing by Derek Parfit.

It is hard to think of anything more basic to our understanding of life than the assumptions we make about the true nature of ourselves. In particular that we carry on being the same person in some sense despite physical and psychological change over time. Could it be a mistake to think like this? Is this notion of a continuous self just an illusion, as Hume suggested? What, if anything, is it that makes Rembrandt, the ageing painter depicted in a late self-portrait, the same person as the young apprentice in early drawings? Some real moral differences hinge on the answer we give, as for example, whether war criminals should be punished for crimes committed half a century or more ago. Questions about the nature of the self matter too when considering the possibility of life after death. If something were to survive death, what would it be? It is no longer far-fetched to imagine transferring memories from a dying person to an artificially created brain, or perhaps to a donor brain. Would the brain with the now-dead person's memories house a person and, if so, would it be the same person as the one whose body died?

Section 2: Philosophy of religion

In this book we turn from the self to God: from questions about personal identity, and what it is to be who one is, to questions about the existence of a supreme being. The book begins by asking what the words ’God‘ and ’religion‘ mean, and what it is to ask philosophical questions and offer philosophical arguments, about religion in general and about God in particular. This is followed by an examination of the claim that there can be no arguments when it comes to matters of faith. A variety of arguments for God’s existence is examined, including Thomas Aquinas’ ’Second way’, and classic and contemporary versions of the argument from design. Detailed discussion of design arguments leads to the question why – if there is a good and all-powerful God – there is so much evil in the world. The book concludes by raising some questions about miracles and religious experience.

Section 3: Ethics

Judgements about what we ought or ought not to do permeate and shape our lives. But what grounds do we have for these judgements? When I am unsure about the moral acceptability of a possible course of action, where should I look to settle the matter? As a moral being, should I be aiming to do whatever brings about the greatest possible amount of happiness in the world? If not, then what? And why should I do the right thing if I would benefit more from doing the wrong thing? This third book looks at answers to these and related questions given by the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates (as recounted by his pupil Plato), the British utilitarians Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, and the German philosopher Immanuel Kant. The discussion is kept down to earth by applying it to familiar moral questions.

As with the other books in the module, you will be asked to do more than familiarise yourself with what these philosophers said. You will also be expected to engage with them by assessing their arguments and considering potential objections to their positions.

Section 4: Knowledge

Every day we use expressions such as ‘That’s true!’ or, perhaps irritated by a news report, we exclaim ‘This is just false!’ Sometimes we can’t make up our minds about the truthfulness of a claim because we don’t have good enough reasons either way. When can we say that a claim is true? What reasons do we have to believe which claims are good, and which are not? If I have witnessed something with my own eyes, can I rely on that information to form my beliefs, or should I take account of the fact that my senses are not always reliable? What is the difference between knowledge and mere opinion? We expect nature to show in the future the same regularities that we have observed in the past. But is this expectation rational? Science is widely regarded as the model of knowledge, and yet scientific theories long held as true have turned out to be false. Can we still be certain that current scientific theories are true? Is there one particular method that makes an inquiry scientific?

You will engage with these and other questions about knowledge in general and about scientific knowledge in particular, through some of the most important texts in the history of philosophy. These include extracts from such classics as René Descartes’ Meditations and Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, as well as work by two more recent philosophers, Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn.

Section 5: Philosophy of mind 

One important difference between us and inanimate objects is that we have minds while inanimate objects do not. But what are these minds? Are they non-material substances, like souls? Or could it be that having a mind is just a matter of having a brain, a physical object? In this book you will examine Descartes’ view that each of us is a composite of both a non-material mind and a material body. You will also look at the opposing view that we are, in essence, just bodies, and that falling in love or being moved by music is just a matter of certain things happening in one's brain. In addition, you will look at two topics that shape current research into the mind, where philosophy, psychology and neuroscience start to overlap. Are our mental lives confined to our brains or do they instead partly reside in the world around us – on the hard drives of our computers, for example? And what should we make of the seemingly intractable nature of consciousness?

Section 6: Political philosophy

This last book considers the relation between ourselves and the states and societies in which we live. It’s commonly thought that we ought to obey the law, vote in elections, or fight for our country if it is under threat. But do we really have such political obligations? What is their source, and when do those obligations cease? Can I just opt out? For that matter, when did I opt in? One answer is that we have obligations only to a just state. But this raises other questions: justice has to do with people getting what they are due, but what, exactly, are people due? Is everyone of equal worth, or do some deserve much more than others? Certainly, some get much more than others. What sort of economic arrangements are fair?

In attempting to answer these questions, you'll consider the classical writings of Plato, Locke and Hume, as well as more contemporary work by John Rawls and Robert Nozick.

You will learn

In addition to exploring the philosophical topics listed above, you will develop the reasoning and other skills necessary to engage in the debates yourself. You will learn to question core assumptions and consider the world, and our relationship with it, in unaccustomed ways. These are skills highly valued by employers looking for staff able to approach complex and often perplexing situations and to offer clear and sound arguments in response.

What's included

You’ll be provided with six core books, audio CDs and have access to a module website, which includes:

a week-by-week study planner

module guide

audio recordings

online exercises

electronic versions of the books

access to online tutorials.


The Thrid stage 120 Credits

1
Modern political ideas

In this module you'll be investigating what political ideas are, how they are generated and the impact they have locally, nationally and internationally in shaping our world. You'll see how political ideas are studied, assess their significance and discover which thinkers and theorists best help us explore and understand the modern political world. In doing so, you'll be encouraged to draw on your own independent study of political ideas and political thinkers. You'll become equipped with the key practical skills needed to carry out research, draw on critical reflection and learn more of the writing and evaluative skills used to explore and evaluate political ideas.

What you will study

This module is explored in the following four blocks:

Section 1: Modern political ideas: An introduction

This block is an exciting introduction to the key questions of the module: what are political ideas, why study political ideas; how are political ideas generated and why do we need thinkers and theorists? Starting with the political fall-out to the financial crisis of 2007–2008, you'll look at the core ideas of the various populist movements that grew in its wake. Moving on to contending views of Englishness, the legacy of the Scottish Enlightenment thinkers and the democratic question of ‘Who Speaks for Wales?’, the central theme running through the block is that political ideas ‘live’ and ‘travel’ across different historical contexts. Finally, you'll consider the very different ways political ideas have been generated from the early pamphleteers to social media. 

Section 2: Democracy and the State

You'll explore key political themes of democracy, participation, leadership and the nature and power of the state. The block includes case studies of the movements for democracy in Catalonia and its historically contested relationship with the Spanish state, as well as the transition to democracy in South Africa. A key aim of this block will be to build a framework of political ideas that can both introduce some core concepts in political theory and provide an understanding of how political ideas manifest themselves in the contemporary political world. You'll consider the work and continuing relevance of theorists of the state and democracy.

Section 3: Citizenship and Noncitizens

You'll examine the idea of citizenship, considering what citizenship means and how, why and in what ways citizenship status has been contested. You'll be introduced to both classic and critical literature in this area and explore ideas and examples of unequal citizenship through a range of different case studies. Accompanying this will be an exploration of the relationship between the nation-state and citizenship and ideas that challenge this relationship.

Section 4: Ideas in action

The focus of this block will be on the ways in which political ideas influence change. You'll study the theories and consequences of revolutions (especially the Russian revolution), the nature of revolutionary thought and some of the consequences for countries who have experienced modern revolutions. You'll consider the nature of totalitarianism (through the ideas of Hannah Arendt and others), its implications for the relationship between the state and the people, and examine the role that ideas played in the fall of communism in Poland. You'll also consider the impact of ideas of personal liberation on social change in contemporary Britain, before looking at ideas that underpinned the modern transformations in Iran and Iraq. The block revisits the key questions of this module – what are political ideas and how are they generated, how do they influence politics, and why study political ideas?

What's included

The module is primarily delivered online via the module website, which includes:

a week-by-week study planner

study support

interactive and audio-visual resources

assessment guide

online tutorials and forums.

You'll also be provided with one printed module textbook.




2
Key questions in philosophy

This broad-ranging module investigates five different topics in philosophy: truth in fiction, the justice of war, reason and action, life and death, knowledge and reason. Each topic is approached through a set of key questions that are significant, accessible and engaging. Why do people seek out art that makes them cry? Can a war be fought justly? Can organisations be held responsible for what they do? What might it mean to say that life is sacred? Is science rational? The study materials will enable you to examine these questions in some depth while leaving space for independent study and reflection.

What you will study

The topics are discussed in module books and supported by extensive audio interviews with prominent present day philosophers and by a selection of interactive online activities.

Course 1: Truth in fiction

When people read novels or watch films, they often become emotionally involved with the story. Yet this phenomenon can seem quite puzzling. How can it be rational for people to feel happy or sad about events that never actually happened or to care about the fate of people who do not exist? Why do people seem to seek out stories that make them feel frightened or sad? As you will discover, these questions lead on to some broader issues about the purpose and value of narrative art. This opening book will allow you to explore these questions through readings from two classic texts – Plato’s Ion and David Hume’s essay Of Tragedy – as well as addressing the contemporary debate.

Course 2: War

Can there be justice in war? Is there a clear moral distinction between killing combatants and killing non-combatants? Are there circumstances – situations of supreme emergency – in which it is justifiable to suspend the accepted conventions of war? Should all soldiers be treated in the same way, regardless of whether their cause is just? This book will guide you through some of the core ideas of Just War Theory and recent criticisms of this approach.

Course 3: Reason in action

We tend to assume that people are, by and large, rational agents, their actions guided by reason. This shows up in our readiness to reason with one another over how best to proceed, and to hold people responsible for what they do. But what does rational agency really amount to? The module book explores this topic through three related questions: Are some goals more rational than others, and if so, which ones? How is it that we sometimes seem to act contrary to our better judgement (‘weakness of will’)? When we act collectively, who is responsible: is it the individuals involved or a ‘group agent’ – an organisation, a country, a family?

Course 4: Life and death

You'll explore four questions about the value of life and the significance of death. People sometimes say that life is sacred – but how should we understand this claim? Is death bad for the person who dies, or only for the people who are left behind? Is it good to be born? Can we make any sense of the idea that a life might (or might not) be meaningful?

Course 5: Knowledge and reason

Just as we might assume that people are, by and large, rational agents, so we might assume that people are, by and large, capable of thinking rationally and forming rational beliefs. Could scientific research into the ways in which people actually reason undermine this assumption? Do we have good reasons to believe what we are told? Is science itself a fully rational enterprise? You'll explore these questions through a variety of texts, including extracts from works by David Hume and Thomas Reid, as well writings by a number of contemporary thinkers.

The module develops the skills and confidence needed for independent study in philosophy in a gradual and supported way. The value of the skills and topics taught is not limited to academic study, though the module does give a sound basis for further study in philosophy and other subjects.

You will learn

In addition to investigating the philosophical questions described above, you will develop the reasoning and other abilities needed to engage with these questions yourself. You'll learn how to understand the structure of complex debates, to present an argument both through essays and through a short presentation, and to engage with controversial issues in a reasoned way. You'll also develop the skills needed for independent study and reflection. These abilities are highly valued by employers looking for staff able to approach complex and perplexing situations and to offer clear and sound arguments in response.

What's included

You'll be provided with five module books and access to a module website which includes:

a week-by-week study planner

module materials

electronic versions of the printed books

audio recordings

online exercises

assessment guide

online tutorials and forums.


3
Doing economics “people, markets and policy”

This module teaches economic theories that explain the behaviour of people in households, firms, markets and governments. You'll be presented with alternative economic explanations, enabling you to make your own critical judgements of which theory serves which purpose best. You'll also gain the research skills to conduct your own project on a topic you want to know more about. At the end of the module, you should have developed a more critical view of the socio-economic world in which you live.

What you will study

The module will equip you with the theoretical tools necessary to investigate recent developments in the global economy. A pluralist view of economic theory is adopted, enabling you to appreciate the debates between different approaches.

The module begins by teaching intermediate microeconomics with an emphasis on both economic theory and its applications. It is made up of the following three Courses plus an introduction to the methods used by economists to test the relevance of their models using data. 

Course 1: People and Households

You'll learn about the economic theories that apply to decisions taken in various contexts, such as consumption, labour market participation, savings, investment in education and training. You'll also look at how households, as well as individuals, can make decisions.

Course 2: Firms and Industries

This Course is about efficiency and productivity in the production of goods and services. It covers issues about choice of technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, employment relations, outsourcing and competition policy.

Course 3: Markets and Welfare

The final Course covers the overall organisation of the economy. It investigates the strengths and weaknesses of markets and governments in the organisation of economic activities, explores issues concerning the environment and ethics, and looks at economic theory that underpins government behaviour.

The second part of the module is project-based and divided into Course 4 and 5, plus some weeks to carry out your project; you will be able to specialise in an area of your choice and carry out your own research project. 

Course 4: Options

This Course teaches further economic theory and the various applications. You'll choose one theoretical strand to focus on from environmental economics, business and innovation, economics and society, or finance. You'll also start the journey towards your research project, by learning the main components of the project and how to carry out a literature review.

Course 5: Research methods

In this Course, you'll choose which research methods you plan to use for your project and learn more about those methods. You can choose between qualitative methods – which include interviewing and case studies – and quantitative methods, which involve analysis of economic data.

Project Work

In the last weeks of the module, you'll work towards completing a project of your choice which will be your end-of-module assessment.

What's included

You’ll be provided with printed module books, each covering one Course of study, and have access to a module website, which includes:

a week-by-week study planner

module materials

audio and video content

assessment guide

online tutorials and forums.


To study a bachelor's degree at ISC, applicants must have successfully completed a high school diploma, or its equivalent, from 12 years of schooling. At ISC, we believe that education should be accessible to all, which is why we offer a quality university education to anyone who desires to realize their ambitions and realize their potential.
The ISC provides study commensurate with the student's capabilities, especially in line with the student's absorption and the time allocated to study daily, given that the student may be able to study full-time and may have work that forces him to study part-time. We expect full-time students to be able to finish their undergraduate studies within 3-4 years. We expect our part-time students to be able to finish their Bachelor's degree in 5-8 years.
The academic year is divided into three semesters. In each semester, the student is allowed to register for a maximum of 6 courses and two courses as a minimum. Classes are distributed as follows: • The first semester begins at the beginning of the third week of October. In the first and second academic week, students register the courses they wish to study during the semester, and students who are late in registration can join the class during this period. The seventh week of the semester is dedicated to conducting midterm exams. The twelfth and last week of the semester is a week dedicated to the final exam. The general average and grades are issued within the week following the final exams. • The second semester begins in the last week of January. In the first and second academic week, students register the courses they wish to study during the semester, and students who are late in registration can join the class. The seventh week of the semester is dedicated to conducting midterm exams. The twelfth and last week of the semester is a week dedicated to the final exam. The general average and grades are issued within the week following the final exams. • The third semester begins in the second week of May. In the first and second academic week, students register the courses they wish to study during the semester, and students who are late in registration can join the class. The seventh week of the semester is dedicated to conducting midterm exams. The twelfth and last week of the semester is a week dedicated to the final exam. The general average and grades are issued within the week following the final exams. • The mid-term vacation begins at the beginning of August and continues for the third week of October. • After the end of each semester, a two-week vacation is scheduled. The rate is calculated as follows: • 50% for the final exam • 50% to be distributed by the course teacher for the midterm exams and the classroom activities that the student performs. • The student is considered to have passed the course if he/she achieves an average of 60%. • The student is considered conditionally successful if he achieves a grade between 50 and 60% and has an overall GPA of no less than 2.5 out of 4.0. • The student obtains a bachelor's degree after successfully completing 48 courses of 360 credit hours.
The tuition fee is £50 per credit • Students are allowed to register a maximum of 40 credits each semester and a minimum of 14 credits. • The student pays a one-time enrollment fee of 200 pounds when registering with the ISC • The student pays 100 sterling pounds per semester as the registration fee for courses. • The creditd = four actual hours.
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