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Module BIC-0010:
UK Gov & Society

Module Facts

Run by Marketing: Bangor International College

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 3


Overall aims and purpose

The aims of the module are to provide students with a basic introduction to government and society in the UK, including a historical element showing briefly how Britain has changed and developed since 1945, and both to explain the main features of British democracy, the Crown, Parliament, Cabinet government, devolution, local government and the role of the civil service and to introduce students to the key features of British society and of how changes have taken place in recent decades around issues of class, ethnicity, gender, rights and obligations.

The module further aims to consider external pressure on government – lobbyists, pressure groups, NGOs and the role of the media and, in its concluding weeks, to consider in summing up the state of British democracy in the early 21st century and how Britain relates to, influences and is influenced by the wider world.

Course content

This module builds the students’ cultural awareness of Britain and the British through looking at the historical background to and current state of Britain’s governmental processes and social structures.

The main topics covered are

• historical perspectives on Britain post- Second World War

• how central government functions – legislative, executive and judicial arms and the civil service

• devolved authority in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

• functioning, financing and activities of local government

• political parties, elections and voting systems, behaviour and patterns

• changes over recent decades in UK society around class, ethnicity and gender

• the role of the media; popular culture and the British view of themselves

• Britain’s influence in the wider world and the influences upon Britain of EU membership, the Commonwealth and the ‘special relationship’ with the USA

Assessment Criteria


Student has produced a consistently high level of work in all aspects of the module and has an outstanding grasp of the material and issues studied. The level of attainment achieved suggests the student has developed a wide range of transferable skills and will have no problem in mastering an undergraduate degree programme.


Student has attained a satisfactory grasp of the material and issues studied and has demonstrated some transferable skills sufficiently to suggest the ability to cope with an undergraduate degree programme.


Student has worked effectively in most aspects of the module and has a sound grasp of the material and issues studied. The level of attainment achieved suggests the student has developed a range of transferable skills and will have little problem in mastering an undergraduate degree programme.

Learning outcomes

    1. Explain how pressure is brought to bear on governments through extra-parliamentary organisations, lobbyists and the media
    1. Explain the different strands of government within the UK and how they function
    1. Show the ways in which British society has changed in the post-war era
    1. Explain Britain’s relationship with the EU and other supra-national organisations
    1. Present information in a written format to a specific deadline
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the development of the political structure of the UK

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
coursework 40
final exam 60

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Students will be guided to work independently and in co-operation with other classmates to gain a wide ranging understanding of UK society and relevant topics


Student and teacher led lessons will aim to encourage students to present and discuss the issues and topics presented in order to develop analytical skills and the ability to discuss these in a clear and coherent manner


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Apply a range of perspectives to the analysis of legal and social issues including global issues.

Develop an understanding of historical and social factors that contribute to the formation of a society


Resource implications for students

Purchase of set text books

Reading list

Cocker & Jones, Contemporary British Politics and Government (2014)

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: