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School of Politics and International Relations

POL253 Accountability and Complexity in British Government

(POL253B – Spring)

Level: 5

Credits: 15 credits

Semester: B

Contact: TBC

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: None

Compulsory for: Semi-compulsory for L202, L20Y

Associate Availability: Full Year and Spring only


This module offers students deeper conceptual insights into the fundamental structures underpinning contemporary British government. It considers the nature and complexity of government in contemporary Britain, as well as examining the main ways for holding those in power accountable. The module considers both central government and the wider sets of actors responsible for governing, including the civil service, arms-length agencies, and other service providers. It also examines various mechanisms that exist to hold those ingovernment to account – including through parliament, the voters, and other institutions – considering how effective they are in achieving this goal.

Assessment: 1 x 2500 word essay (40%) and 2 hour Exam (60%)