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Courses and topics taught in Modern Studies at Morgan Academy

S1: Introduction to Modern Studies; Pressure Groups; Introduction to Crime and the Law

S2: Children in Conflict (focus on Afghanistan, the DRC and Iraq); Politics (participation and representation - an election campaign

S3: USA and China (a comparative study); Law and Order

N4/5: Politics - Democracy in Scotland and the UK; Social Issues - Crime and the Law; International Issues - World Power (the USA)

Higher: Politics - voting systems and voting behaviour; Social Issues - Health and Wealth inequalities; Internation Issues - the USA and China

Advanced Higher: Law and Order - Study Theme 2: Law and Order and Research Methods

This Study Theme will be based on a study of the following contexts:

Context A: Rights and Responsibilities in relation to Law and Order in the UK - The rule of law and the values underpinning laws. The concept of rights and responsibilities in relation to law and order. The nature and extent of individual human rights and liberty in relation to law and order. The impact of having rights legislation and an unwritten constitution. Channels to highlight and redress grievances in relation to human rights and civil liberties.

Context B: The Causes and Effects of Crime in the UK - The causes of crime with reference to the relative merits of sociological, psychological and physiological theories. The relationship between crime and various social and economic factors. The social and economic effects of crime on individuals, communities, businesses and public services.

Context D: Penal Systems in the UK - The aims, purposes and effectiveness of the UK penal systems. The alternatives to imprisonment. Responses of the main political parties to the penal systems in the UK.

Research Methods

In addition to the above mandatory content in relation to each context, candidates should examine case studies to illustrate the operation, advantages and disadvantages of political and social science research methods. The research methods which should be studied are:

♦ methods of observation; participant and non-participant observation; covert and overt observation

♦ in-depth interviewing methods: focus groups, structured and unstructured interviews

♦ surveys and questionnaires: sampling; postal questionnaires; telephone questionnaires; internet- based surveys; opinion polls

♦ official statistics; methods of presentation and analysis

Candidates should also be aware of the ethical issues concerning research, the principles involved in sampling and the importance of objectivity, the relevance and application of basic statistical techniques, and be familiar with the terminology involved (ie mean/median/mode; reliability; validity; correlating data/comparing trends and patterns; significance). Where appropriate, the relevance of new technology should be emphasised.

From session 2014-15 the Modern Studies department is also planning to offer a course in Higher Politics

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