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What interests should I have if I want to take to take this course?

Politicians make decisions that affect every day of our lives; what time we get up, how we are educated, where we can live, when we can get married, when we can vote. So it is important to know the political processes that exist to make the laws that impact on our daily lives. We should also be interested the political relationship Britain has with the USA and how and how political views are formed. Why do some people support the Conservative Party, while others support the Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, Green Party or one of the many other political parties? The Politics A level course will aim to give you an understanding of the political environment of our society today.

What minimum qualifications will I need to start the course?

Grade 4 in GCSE English and APS 4.

What will I learn about?

Politics A level is split into three areas of academic study.

  1. Government and politics of the UK
  2. Government and politics of the USA and comparative politics
  3. Political ideas

Government and politics of the UK will cover the following elements:

  • 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
  • Devolution
  • Democracy and participation
  • Elections and referendums
  • Political parties
  • Pressure groups
  • The European Union

Government and politics of the USA will cover the following elements:

  • The constitutional framework of US government
  • The legislative branch of government: Congress
  • The executive branch of government: President
  • The judicial branch of government
  • The electoral process and direct democracy
  • Political parties
  • Pressure groups
  • Civil rights

Comparative politics:

  • Constitutional arrangements
  • The executives
  • The judiciaries
  • Electoral and party systems
  • Pressure groups
  • Civil Rights

Political ideologies:

You will study the three following political ideas:

  • Liberalism
  • Conservatism
  • Socialism

Plus one of the following five ideologies:

a) Feminism 
b) Nationalism 
c) Multiculturalism 
d) Anarchism
e) Ecologism

How will I be assessed?

At the end of year 13 you will sit three 2 hour exams

Paper 1 - Government and politics of the UK
Paper 2 - The government and politics of the USA
Paper 3 - Political ideas

Each paper will be marked out of 77, which will equate to 33 1/3 % of the full A-level
Questions will be a mixture of medium length ‘explain’ and essay style questions.

What Teaching and Learning methods will be used?

You will engage in class debate, discussion and analysis alongside reading and researching contemporary political issues. There will be a focus on developing your written skills in preparation for the written exam.

What can I do when I complete my qualifications?

Your A level politics qualification will prepare you for further study on a whole range of degree courses, due to the analytical and evaluation skills you will develop. Most importantly, it will provide you with knowledge to understand the big issues that affect our society today.

How can I find out more information?

If you have any further questions please contact Ms Johnston in the Social Sciences Department.