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Introduction to the UK Parliament: People, Processes and Public Participation

Houses of Parliament via FutureLearn

This course may be unavailable.



This free online course will introduce you to the work and role of the UK Parliament. From setting the age at which we start school to deciding pension policy, the UK Parliament makes laws that impact our lives, our work and our wider society.

Learn what Parliament is and does

You will begin by looking at what Parliament is, how it is different from government and how it has changed and evolved over hundreds of years. You will find out about the work of the House of Commons and the House of Lords and discover how things work in the Chambers and beyond on a day-to-day basis.

Learn how Parliament scrutinises government

Parliament is vital in scrutinising the work of government; on this course you’ll learn what this looks like in practice. You will consider the different tools MPs and members of the House of Lords use to check and challenge the work of government to ensure its decisions are transparent, efficient and fair. You will examine the purpose and role of different types of questions, discover some of the conventions of debate and explore the work of select committees.

Learn how Parliament is evolving

Towards the end of the course, you will examine the process of law making and discover the journey of a Bill. You will also explore the range of opportunities open to citizens, which enable you to engage with and influence the UK Parliament.

There are no special requirements for this course. This is an introductory course and is open to everyone who has an interest in developing their understanding of the UK Parliament.


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