Introduction to the course
This course covers a detailed study of political issues which include UK, European and American political issues and themes. The full Advanced Level qualification is a two year course with final examinations at the end.
However this subject will be run as an AS course only if there is too small a number of pupils to justify a full 2 year A-level (in this case only Unit 1 will apply as the topic of study, and Units 2 & 3 will not be covered).
Standard entry requirements including GCSE History and English Language at grade 6 or above.
Unit 1 – British Politics: This encapsulates a study of two key aspects of the UK Political system 1) People and participation, which examines what democracy is, how effective the UK’s Liberal Democracy is, the role of Pressure groups within the UK, Electoral systems and whether the current system of First Past the Post is suitable for electing our leaders and an examination of the roles, ideologies and importance of political parties. 2) Governing the UK, this aspect of the topic covers an examination of how the UK is governed through parliament, what powers the Prime Minister possesses, whether there is a need for a written Constitution for the UK, Devolution and the powers of regional government s and the effectiveness of our legal system.
Unit 2 – US Politics: This focuses similarly to the UK unit on examining the role of democracy within the US system, investigating how Presidential candidates are selected, the electoral process, the role of The Republicans and Democrats and their political differences, as well as understanding why Pressure groups are so powerful with US politics. This unit also then looks in depth at the structure of the US political system, the powers of the President, the significance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the role of the Supreme Court and the functions and powers of Congress.
Unit 3 – Political Ideas: This examines three core political principles, Conservatism, Socialism and Liberalism and their key differences, ideologies and links to parties and developments. In addition students will also study one of the following political ideas Feminism, Multiculturalism, Anarchism, Nationalism or Ecologism and explain its core principles and influences on society.
Time allocated % of final grade
Unit 1 – UK Politics 2 hours 77 marks /33.3%
Unit 2 – US Politics 2 hours 77 marks /33.3%
Unit 3 – Political ideas 2 hours 77 marks /33.3 %
AS Politics 3 hours 100%
A mixture of medium length ‘explain’ and essay style questions
Future Career Progression
Many students combine Government & Politics with other humanities subjects like History, English, Sociology and Modern Languages – but Mathematics, the Sciences and Business Studies will complement logical thinking equally well.
Government & Politics A-level is seen as a facilitating subject by the Russell group universities and can be seen as a platform for many University courses and diverse careers such as Civil Service, Politics, Law, Journalism, the Media, Social Welfare, Business Management, Travel and tourism and the Police, as well as many others.