Politics: Machiavelli: Monster or Moralist?

Ref: C3528607

This course plunges us into the politics of Renaissance Italy. Machiavelli’s Florence played an important role as Europe’s superpowers, France and Spain, moved in. Rulers needed urgent guidance: this is what Machiavelli offered in his short and accessible, but much misunderstood masterpiece The Prince.

Course aim

To interpret and assess Machiavelli’s outlook and message, by a close examination of just what he said (and did NOT say) in The Prince (chiefly), taking full account of the circumstances in which he lived and wrote.

Who is the course for?

- No skills or experience needed

What topics will this course cover

- 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 will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

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

How will I know I'm making progress?

- 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 - The course has no formal assignments, but feedback operates informally in the flow of questions, reactions and debate within the group.

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

- Students will need an English translation of Machiavelli’s The Prince - preferably by George BULL (Penguin Classics)

Reading and information sources

- No pre reading or pre course work is required

What could the course lead to?

- Progress to another WEA course - Progress to a course with another provider - The course offers a route into further study of Italian and European Renaissance history and/or of political thought.

Download full course outline

Politics: Machiavelli: Monster or Moralist? Course Outline

Enrolment Conditions

You can enrol online 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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