What is the course about?
The course provides an excellent opportunity to discuss in some depth the news on a continuing basis, exploring a range of the most interesting developments. An attempt will be made to develop themes that will give you an interpretative framework within which individual events can be analysed in the context of more general trends.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
The main focus of the course is on understanding the significance of the news as it is reported on a week by week basis in the media generally. The potential for a high level of learner interest in the topics selected for discussion is of prime importance. Themes may include:
- ethnic nationalism
- secular politics and religious issues of social and political significance
- the Human Rights debate
- socialism and the market economy
- issues of war and peace
- science and progress, often coupled with ethical and religious questions
These themes are not intended to be exhaustive and are open to a variety of interpretations. Issues of war and peace might well include the situation in the Middle East, or other regions.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify and analyse those news events that are likely to create political repercussions at home and overseas
- Discuss such events in their appropriate context
- Identify the agenda-setting role of editors in the media
- Develop skills relating to the criticism of news stories.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No previous knowledge is required although you will be encouraged to read regularly at least one quality daily newspaper as background preparation. The tutor usually supplies extracts from the media or books to aid discussion on each specific topic.
As with most of our history and current affairs courses, an open mind and a willingness to listen to and think about new ideas with which you may not agree are more important than specific levels of skills.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Most sessions involve the tutor leading in with a prepared talk, one or more readings from the printed media, and/or a video or pictorial presentation. There is ample opportunity for discussion of issues or problems raised. As the course progresses learners are encouraged to take an increasing part in the learning process, especially with regard to asking questions and discussing topics raised.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You are encouraged to prepare for each weeks topic by reading a newspaper and listening to the news and current affairs programmes on radio and/or television.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
HH026 - More current affairs (Term 3 course).