8.4 A Europe of the regions?

What role will the ‘regions’ play in the emerging governance structures of the European Union? This course examines the rise of the regions and regionalism in Western Europe. You will look at the possible development pathways for Europe: will it become a Federal super-state or a decentralised ‘Europe of the Regions’?

The course discusses the future of Europe, and it looks particularly closely at what may happen to the smaller political units presently existing below the level of
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8.3 The politics of devolution

This course examines ‘Scotland’. Having enjoyed political independence until 1707, the survival of many of Scotland's institutions – notably its systems of law, religion and education – after Union with England contributed to the preservation of its singular identity. The different way in which Scotland was incorporated into the UK, through a monarchical take-over rather than by conquest (as was the case in Wales and Ireland), may account for the lesser impact the development of the U
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7.5 Finding information in art and history

This course will help you to identify and use information in Arts and History, whether for your work, study or personal purposes. Experiment with some of the key resources in this subject area, and learn about the skills which will enable you to plan searches for information, so you can find what you are looking for more easily. Discover the meaning of information quality, and learn how to evaluate the information you come across. You will also be introduced to the many different ways of orga
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7.4 Identity in question

Why is identity important and how are identities formed? This course looks at the many different ways in which identity can be categorised. By examining the requirements of the state, how a child views gender, and the importance of race or place of birth, you will start to understand how each individual can have more than one identity. This course focuses upon the individual's perception of self in relation to others; the relationships between multi-ethnicity, cultural diversity and identity;
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7.3 What is poetry?

Have you always wanted to try to write poetry but never quite managed to start? This course is designed to illustrate the techniques behind both the traditional forms of poetry and free verse. You will learn how you can use your own experiences to develop ideas and how to harness your imagination.

The course introduces common techniques underlying free verse and traditional forms of poetry, and how it is necessary to use these techniques in order to harness what T.S. Eliot called the
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7.1 Overview

Scottish literature is defined as literature written in Scotland or by Scottish writers, but is there such a thing as a literary and cultural identity which is distinctively Scottish?

This section of the OpenLearn Scotland collection is designed to stimulate thinking on the relationship between writing and identity. Learners are introduced to the work of two enormously influential figures in Scottish literature and culture: Sorley MacLean and Jackie Kay, the contemporary Scottish poet a
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6.1 Overview

These courses will introduce you to the Scottish legal system. Scots law today represents centuries of development and growth. Its evolution has been influenced by many factors, social and economic, the effects of war and religious change, political and governmental changes, alliances with overseas powers such as France, and Union with England. Since 1999, the new Scottish Parliament has had its own law-making powers.

The first course in this section provides a taster for a new course o
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5.4 Dundee, jute and empire

This course focuses on the economics of empire, and, in particular, of the British Empire in the second half of the nineteenth century. The theme of producers and consumers is central.

The course starts by introducing some of the debates surrounding the economics of British imperialism. It then goes on to explore how empire and imperial trade shaped economic structures and urban society in late nineteenth-century Britain.

To access this material click on the course link below. It
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5.3 Heritage case studies: Scotland

These case studies introduce various typologies of heritage and the methods used to study them. They help draw attention to the fact that the heritage traditions in England, Scotland and Wales are not the same and are enshrined in slightly different legislation. Every study of heritage requires an understanding of the legal context and the traditions and history governing the object of heritage.

The first case study, by Mary-Catherine Garden, involves public memories of two significant
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4.5 David Hume

This course examines David Hume's reasons for being complacent in the face of death, as these are laid out in his suppressed essay of 1755, ‘Of the immortality of the soul’. More generally, they examine some of the shifts in attitude concerning death and religious belief which were taking place in Europe at the end of the eighteenth century, through examination of this and other short essays.

Hume was a pivotal figure in the Scottish Enlightenment and his death in 1776 was widely an
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4.3 James Clerk Maxwell

James Clerk Maxwell produced a unified theory of the electromagnetic field and used it to show that light is a type of electromagnetic wave. This prediction dates from the early 1860s when Maxwell was at King's College, London. Shortly afterwards Maxwell decided to retire to his family estate in Galloway in order to concentrate on research, unhindered by other duties.

This course presents Maxwell's greatest triumph – the prediction that electromagnetic waves can propagate vast distanc
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4.2 John Napier

For many years, John Napier (1550–1617) spent his leisure time devising means for making arithmetical calculations easier. Just why a Scots laird at the turn of the seventeenth century should have thus devoted the energies left over from the management of his estates remains a puzzle. Up to the publication of his description of logarithms in 1614, three years before his death, Napier was best known to the world for his Protestant religious treatise A plaine discovery of the whole Revelat
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3.7 Finding information in science and nature

This course will help you to identify and use information in Science and Nature, whether for your work, study or personal purposes. Experiment with some of the key resources in this subject area, and learn about the skills which will enable you to plan searches for information, so you can find what you are looking for more easily. Discover the meaning of information quality, and learn how to evaluate the information you come across. You will also be introduced to the many different ways of or
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3.2 Mountain building in Scotland

Some of Britain's most dramatic scenery is to be found in the Scottish Highlands. The sight of mighty Ben Nevis, the desolate plateau of the Cairngorms and the imposing landscapes of Glen Coe can unleash the call of the wild in all of us. Although these landforms were largely carved by glacial activity that ended some 10,000 years ago, the rocks themselves tell of a much older history. The Highlands are merely eroded stumps of a much higher range of ancient mountains. This course is an accoun
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2.5 Finding information in education

This course will help you to identify and use information in education, whether for your work, study or personal purposes. Experiment with some of the key resources in this subject area, and learn about the skills which will enable you to plan searches for information, so you can find what you are looking for more easily. Discover the meaning of information quality, and learn how to evaluate the information you come across. You will also be introduced to the many different ways of organising
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2.1 Overview

The Scottish education system is distinctive and has a long independent history. The courses within this section cover the national curriculum framework in Scotland and give examples of learning in some Scottish schools.

In teachers' professional development, The Open University works with The General Teaching Council for Scotland (the independent regulatory body for the teaching profession in Scotland) to develop courses and qualifications specifically tailored to Scotland's needs, e.g
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1.2.3 Scottish history

1.2.1 The Scottish environment and technology

1.1.2 Professional development in Scotland

Scotland's legal and education systems are distinctive and differ from those of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This therefore leads to differences in frameworks and standards of professional recognition within the United Kingdom.

This section of OpenLearn Scotland introduces learners to areas of professional development where The Open University has developed curricula specifically to meet the needs of students and employers in Scotland.


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