Politics is about power. It shapes our lives, what we can do, the type of society we live in, the chances we have to succeed. This course is for people who want to understand more about how politics and government actually work. There has never been a better time to study UK and US Politics than now!
You will learn about the grand ideas and vibrant movements that are transforming the world around us, and also see how seemingly arcane customs and obscure committees hold enormous power.
Grade 5 in GCSE English or Grade 5 in GCSE History.
Politics is a highly regarded A Level that can lead to many degree options and career paths. These are some of the jobs that Politics graduates have gone into in recent years:
- Bank and Financial Services in the City of London and elsewhere
- Political research
- Members of Parliament
Subject Leader: Mrs E Upton
What will you study in A level Politics?
Paper 1 UK Politics
1. Political Participation
- Democracy and participation - How democratic is the UK?
- Political parties - Are Conservative and Labour the only parties that matter?
- Electoral systems - Is it time to get rid of FPTP?
- Voting behaviour and the media - Why do people vote the way they do?
2. Core Political Ideas - views on human nature, equality, the role of the state, the economy, differences within each ideology
Paper 2 UK Government
1. UK Government
- The constitution - Is it time to rewrite the constitution?
- Parliament - How powerful is parliament?
- Prime minister and executive - Is Britain an ‘elective dictatorship’?
- Relationships between the branches - where does the real power lie?
2. Non-Core Political ideas - views on human nature, equality, the role of the state, the economy, differences within the ideology
Paper 3 Politics of the USA
- The US constitution and federalism - Is it still for purpose?
- US Congress - Is Congress the broken branch of government?
- US Presidency - How powerful is the US President?
- US Supreme Court and civil rights - How well are rights protected?
- Democracy and participation - In light of recent events, is it time to reform the electoral college?
- Comparative Theories - Comparison with the UK Political System
Course Content & Assessment
In Year 12, we start by looking at UK Government and Politics. We discuss what power is, how democracy operates, the importance of elections, the different beliefs of the key political parties and the role that the media plays in politics.
We then move on to study the big institutions such as Parliament, the Prime Minister and the Judiciary. All of this builds towards answering the big questions around whether our system is in urgent need of reform. At the end of Year 12, we extend our understanding further, and look in more detail at key political thinkers and the impact their political philosophy has had on current political leaders.
In Year 13, we turn our attention to US Politics covering the major institutions, political figures and key issues for debate, once again assessing the effectiveness of the system in the 21st century. We also spend time comparing the US and UK systems, looking at structural and cultural differences.
Three written examinations at the end of the two year course.