Politics

If anyone says they are not interested in politics – they are lying!

Politics is the most social of all the A Levels.  It promotes dealing with issues of conflict and diversity but ultimately leads to conflict resolution.

Politics affects every aspect of everyone’s lives, from the price you pay for petrol to the wars your friends end up fighting.  The Government and Politics course takes students from no knowledge of the political systems of the world to becoming experts whose knowledge of the details of systems and ideology is invaluable.  Three units are studied over the two years of the A Level course.  Unit one examines the reasons for people voting in different ways, the voting systems, political systems of the UK and the structures of parliament, as well as looking closely at the three main political parties and the pressure groups that lobby and check their work.  Unit two compares the US Political system to the UK’s and examines the extent which US politics is different to our own.  Unit three looks at ideologies in detail and their application in political systems past and present.  We go on a variety of trips, from Leeds Crown Court to London, with the visit to Krakow in Poland the pinnacle of Year 13.  

To get started

Politics is assessed purely be exteneded essays. Grade 5 in History or English are desirable but not essential.

There is no coursework component in A Level Government & Politics.  A degree of confidence with examinations is therefore important, as is the ability to revise effectively.  However, Government and Politics fits in with both essay based and more scientific subjects, although again the ability to write an essay is an advantage.  This skill will, however, be taught.  Confidence in literacy is important.

Students should be prepared to read newspapers and articles, watch news and current affairs programmes… and debate!  Willingness for participation as well as a literate and enquiring mind are a must.

Exam and Assessment Information

Edexcel

Component 1 : UK Politics & Ideologies

Written paper – 2 hours, mixture of source/non-source essay questions.  Worth one third of the A Level.

Component 2 :  UK Government & Ideologies 

Written paper – 2 hours, mixture of source/non-source essay questions.  Worth one third of the A Level.

Component 3 : Comparative Politics (USA)

Written paper – 2 hours, mixture of short and long essay questions.  Worth one third of the A Level.

What Next?

Many politicians, comedians, actors, lawyers have degrees in politics; as do teachers, accountants… it’s a subject that leads to everything and rules out nothing. It is considered academically rigorous by Russell Group universities.