Schools and College Liaison Programme

Schools and Colleges Liaison Programme

We offer five interactive webinars that engage with key topics in the A level curriculum for Politics and relevant themes in Geography and Sociology A level. We usually offer these as fully interactive, hour-long sessions, but we can adapt our format to suit your needs. We can deliver the sessions in person, but this is subject to availability. Similarly, we can offer to host the sessions at Aberystwyth, where resources permit.

We are also happy to offer talks about the study of politics and if you are looking for a bespoke session, we are willing to consider developing a session just for you, depending on the availability of staff.

For more information please contact Dr Lucy Taylor, Director of Recruitment, Admissions and Marketing for the Department of International Politics.

Crisis of Democracy in the USA? – Dr. Jenny Mathers / Dr Lucy Taylor

America is often upheld as a beacon of democracy, but recent events have revealed serious challenges, both to US democratic institutions and to America’s culture of democracy. This workshop explores the US political system, and its flaws, through a discussion of key contemporary themes. These are: rise of populism; polarization in political parties; race and representation; women’s rights and the abortion debate. Fully interactive, this session looks behind the news headlines to explore the meaning of democracy and the relationship between state institutions and democratic culture.

A level Syllabus Themes: American politics; party systems; elections, Supreme Court; democratic culture.

Global Governance and Climate Change – Dr. Hannah Hughes

This session will explore a key site of climate change governance - the annual Conference of the Parties or COP meetings. COPs are a key focal point in the governance of climate change where collective action between the world’s governments is negotiated. A wide range of other actors also shape the global response, including environmental NGOs, youth activists, business groups and Indigenous Peoples. The session explores what goes on inside these meeting sites, showing how negotiations between countries are brokered and how civil society organizations try to influence the decisions made. 

A level Syllabus Themes: Global Governance; International Organizations; Climate Change and UNFCCC.

A United Kingdom? – Dr. Huw Lewis* (available through the medium of Welsh)

While almost unthinkable a generation ago, today there is serious debate regarding whether the UK union can survive. This is due to diverse factors, including: the rise of independence movements (especially in Scotland, but also in Wales); growing interest in reunification across the island of Ireland; and even a sense among certain English voters that England is treated unfairly within the union. Political and constitutional divisions have also been heightened by Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. Using interactive methods, this session examines the arguments advanced by key participants in this debate, such as Nicola Sturgeon, Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and Mark Drakeford. It explores their different visions for the future of the United Kingdom and invites students to evaluate their proposals.

A level Syllabus Themes: UK’s unwritten constitution; Parliamentary sovereignty; devolution; nationalism and unionism in different parts of the UK.

Russian Ambition and the Ukraine Conflict – Dr. Tom Vaughan

How can we understand the motivations behind Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? Over the past year, news stories and pundits have often focused on Vladimir Putin’s personal ambitions or psychological state in explaining Russia’s actions. These might be part of the answer – but what else could be at play? In this interactive workshop, we’ll dig deeper and explore why states go to war in the 21st century, some of the possible explanations for Russia’s behaviour, and whether there are any prospects for peace in Ukraine.

A level Syllabus Themes: Global Politics; Significance of emerging powers (Russia); contemporary global issues (conflict).

Can we control nuclear weapons? – Dr. Tom Vaughan

The Ukraine conflict has been a stark reminder that nuclear weapons are still relevant in world politics. Russia’s nuclear threats have sparked fresh conversations about the risk of nuclear conflict and the role that nuclear weapons play for states and their security in the 21st century. In this interactive workshop, we’ll investigate the historic role of nuclear weapons in preserving or threatening peace, nuclear ‘near misses’, and the dangers that nuclear weapons still pose today. We’ll question whether nuclear weapons are still useful or necessary, and whether nuclear disarmament can ever be feasible.

A level Syllabus Themes: Global governance; International Organizations; contemporary global issues (conflict)