With an incredible series of unexpected and unpredictable events at home and abroad in recent years, the study of politics has never been more relevant or more fascinating and it is a great subject for those with enquiring minds and a desire to find out just what is going on in the world today and why.
Politics A-level is a lively and engaging subject that will captivate anyone who wishes to understand the society in which we live, and be able to situate this within the broader global context. We tackle big issues, such as terrorism, poverty and climate change, head on. You will develop skills in analysis, evaluation, debate, handling evidence and formulating credible and substantiated arguments, while at the same time advance your knowledge of national and international politics.
Politics will be ideal for you if:
- You have an interest in the world around you, want to know more about the society in which you live, how it works, and how it could work.
- You enjoy debate, discussion and argument and are comfortable with the idea that in politics there is no right or wrong answer.
- You enjoy weighing up and evaluating evidence in order to assess and communicate ideas and arguments.
- You like thinking for yourself and want to develop your own views rather than accept the views of others.
- You are interested in modern Britain and the USA and if you enjoy discussion and debate you should consider taking Politics.
What can I do with it?
A good grade in Politics at A level is valued by universities and employers, since it requires the development of analytical skills and demonstrates the ability to evaluate political, social and economic issues. This course also lays an appropriate foundation for further study of government and politics or related subjects in higher education.
In recent years students studying Politics have gone on to study a diverse range of subjects at university; however, Law, International Relations and History have been particularly popular choices.
Politics works well alongside History, English, Sociology, Psychology, Economics, and Philosophy and Ethics.
As a part of the course you will have the opportunity to take part in a trip to the Houses of Parliament and take part in a Q&A session with our local MP.
What will I study?
Paper 1 – Government and politics of the UK
- Government and politics of the UK: The nature and sources of the British Constitution, the structure and role of Parliament, the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the judiciary, the European Union and devolution
- The politics of the UK: Democracy and participation, elections and referendums, political parties, pressure groups
Paper 2 – Government and politics of the USA and comparative politics
- Government and politics of the USA: The constitutional framework of US government, Congress, the President, the judiciary, the electoral process and direct democracy, political parties, pressure groups, civil rights
- Comparative politics: Analysing key similarities and differences between the USA and UK based on the following issues: constitutional arrangements, the legislatures, the executives, judiciaries, electoral and party systems, pressure groups, civil rights
Paper 3 – Political ideas
- Core ideologies: Liberalism, conservatism and socialism
- Other ideologies: Nationalism
- 3 written exam 2 hours each
- Each paper is 33⅓ % of the final A-level grade
Questions a mixture of medium-length ‘explain’, extract-based and essay-style questions.