3.2 Life in modern Britain

In this theme students will look at the make-up, values and dynamics of contemporary UK society. They will consider what it means to be British, how our identities are formed and how we have multiple identities. Students will also look at the role and responsibilities of the traditional media, the impact of new media formats and the UK's role in international issues.

What are the principles and values that underpin British society?

  • The key principles and values underpinning British society today.
  • The human, moral, legal and political rights and the duties, equalities and freedoms of citizens.
  • Key factors that create individual, group, national and global identities.

What do we mean by identity?

  • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is comprised of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The impact of this on identity debates.
  • Changes and movement of population over time: the impact on different communities in the UK; the nature of immigration and migration to and from the UK.
  • The need for mutual respect and understanding in a diverse society and the values that underpin democratic society.
  • Identity and multiple identities; the diverse nature of the UK population.

What is the role of the media and the free press?

  • The rights, responsibilities and role of the media and a free press in informing and influencing public opinion, providing a forum for the communication and exchange of ideas and opinions, and in holding those in power to account.
  • The right of the media to investigate and report on issues of public interest subject to the need for accuracy and respect for people's privacy and dignity.
  • The operation of press regulation and examples of where censorship is used.

What is the UK's role in key international organisations?


We've updated this section to reflect the Department for Education's (DfE) edit of the subject content following the UK’s departure from the EU.

  • Relationships between the United Kingdom and the global organisations including the United Nations (UN) and its agencies, NATO, the European Union (EU), The Council of Europe, the Commonwealth and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
  • The ongoing implications of the UK's former membership of the European Union and examples of decisions that continue to impact the UK.
  • How the UK assists in resolving international disputes and conflicts, and the range of methods used.
  • How non-governmental organisations (NGOs) respond to humanitarian crises.

How can citizens make their voice heard and make a difference in society?

  • The opportunities and barriers to citizen participation in democracy.
  • The range of actions a citizen can take who wishes to hold those in power to account; the advantages and disadvantages of joining an interest group or political party, standing for election, campaigning, advocacy, lobbying, petitions, joining a demonstration and volunteering.
  • The role of organisations such as; public services, interest groups, pressure groups, trade unions, charities and voluntary groups and how they play a role in providing a voice and support for different groups in society.
  • Two different examples of how citizens working together, or through groups, attempt to change or improve their communities through actions to either address public policy, challenge injustice or resolve a local community issue.
  • How those who wish to bring about change use the media.

Citizenship skills, processes and methods

Each of the questions that frame the subject content for this section helps establish a question or hypothesis. This will enable students to develop the citizenship skills, processes and methods listed in this specification. Many of the skills, processes and methods listed can also be developed through the use of a case study approach.