Current Affairs 1

Ref: C2226822

Voting for or against Brexit seemed such a simple thing to do but the outcome has been far from simple. What will Brexit mean for the UK, Scotland, Ireland, the EU and international relations? The whole political process over Brexit has highlighted deficiencies in our system of democracy - does the UK need a codified constitution and a PR system of voting? There are other issues in current affairs too - should home schooling be regulated - or even banned? What 'rights' should the LGBT community be given - and what impact will this have on the provision of toilets, changing rooms at sports facilities etc.? We shall also have updates on some on-going issues, such as climate change, universal credit (who are the winners and losers?) and ideas to shift money from the old to the young - by removing benefits for the elderly - an election loser surely? We'll also look at other issues as they occur.

Course aim

This course gives students the opportunity to analyse issues in politics, international relations and current affairs. The courses will enable students to challenge their own views through debate and discussion with other students.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Describe the impact of Brexit on the UK, Scotland, Ireland, the EU and international relations. This will include the impact within individual countries, such as Scotland where the outcome of leaving the EU may well trigger further demands for independence; what effect will Brexit have on the Good Friday Agreement in Ireland? What could be the outcome of new trade agreements between the UK and individual countries both within and outside of the EU?
  • Describe the current electoral system used for elections to Westminster and discuss alternative systems. The UK is one of the few countries to have a First Past the Post electoral system. This is supposed to lead to strong government and a parliament which represents a wide variety of views held by the electorate; quite clearly, Brexit has shown that this is not working. Is it time for the UK to have a codified constitution and a PR electoral system?
  • Discuss the reasons some parents choose to home school their children instead of enrolling them in state or private schools. The government has said it is to review the current big increase in home schooling to decide if legislation is required. Is the right to home school children a symbol of diversity? Would a ban on home schooling or a register of children being educated this way be a sign of a repressive state?
  • Outline the reasons the government wants to reduce benefits for the elderly in order to give the money to young people to enable them to buy property. Benefits such as free bus passes, winter fuel allowances etc. are universal and it is argued that most people receiving these benefits do not need them - i.e. they are well off. But the counter argument is that the elderly have paid taxes all their working lives, and they had to struggle to buy houses when they were young.

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
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • The tutor will provide handouts a week in advance to give basis information and a selection of opinions from newspaper/journal articles. Students will be expected to read these and also to do some further background reading/watch current affairs programmes on TV etc.

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
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

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
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • Involvement with political parties, and/or pressure groups.

Download full course information sheet

Current Affairs 1


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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