Brexit, Trump and Populism

Ref: C2419216

The course will look at the changes in British society and politics that led to the Brexit referendum. Was it about 'taking back control'? The revenge of the left-behind, or a revolt against the experts? Was it about loss of identity, or hard economics? Or did migration trump everything? In 1975 Britain voted more than 2 to 1 to stay in the EC, but last year we voted, 52% to 48%, to leave: what changed, us or them? We'll look at how Trump became America's most improbable President, and the upsurge of populist, anti-establishment parties across Europe. What's everybody so cross about? Have our governments lost the plot? Have fun finding out.

Course aim

The course aims to help make sense of what is going on in our politics and society, looking especially at what led to Brexit, but with an eye on the election of Donald Trump and the upsurge of populism in several European countries.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Understand and discuss Brexit constructively with both Leavers and Remainers
  • Understand and discuss the choices that Britain still has to make, as Brexit negotations proceed
  • Understand and discuss the underlying political and economic changes in Britain and other advanced countries - including similarities and differences - which have led to Brexit, the Trump Presidency and the rise of populists in Europe

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full Course information sheet

Brexit, Trump and Populism


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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