Politics A-Level

Course Overview

Entry Qualifications

In addition to the standard College entry requirements (see below) this course also requires students to have achieved grade 5 or above in GCSE English Language. An interest in current affairs is really important; this means following the news by reading newspapers, watching TV bulletins, and following it online and via social media.

What will I study?

Students will study participation in political life especially in British political institutions, the UK Government, three core political ideologies and one contemporary ideology. Students will also study US Government and Politics.

Component 1: Political Participation

Democracy – Different types of Democracy and how Democracy works in the UK.

Elections – Functions, types, impact and significance of elections.

Political Parties – Structures of political parties and their ideas. Pressure groups – You will examine the structure and aims of many pressure groups, e.g. Greenpeace. Ideologies – Liberalism, Conservatism, and Socialism.

Component 2: UK Government

Constitution – The UK’s ‘unwritten’ constitution and issues with reform.

Parliament – The functions and importance of parliament. Is Parliament out of date? Government – The role of the PM and PM leadership style.

Judges – Judicial independence and the impartiality of the law. Rights in the UK and Human Rights Act.

An optional political ideology: Anarchism, Ecologism, Feminism, Multiculturalism or Nationalism.

Component 3: Comparative Politics, US Government and Politics. This covers unit uses ideas from Unit 1 & 2 in

a comparative study of the UK and the USA.

How will I study?

Politics lessons include a variety of different learning methods; whole class teaching, debates and discussion, and individual and group work. You will be required to complete mini research projects, and structured answers as well as essays.

How is the course examined?

There is a 2 hour exam for each component. Component 1 and Component 2 are both assessed by one 30 mark source essay, one 30 mark essay, and one 24 mark question.

Component 3: You will need to answer two 12 mark questions and two 30 mark essay questions.

Where next?

A good result will form part of the general entry requirement for the majority of courses at University. It will be especially relevant to any Public Administration, Politics, History, Law or social science course. Politics students find that their understanding of the topics studied help them understand the world they live in better and this is universally respected by employers.

What does the course combine well with?

Politics combines well with many subjects, however it especially sits well with History, Economics, Religion and Ethics, Geography, Law, and Sociology.

College Entry Requirements

We normally expect applicants to have achieved good GCSE passes in at least six subjects, these must:

• demonstrate the suitability for Advanced Level study

• have been achieved at Grade 4/C as a minimum

• include two at Grade 5/B as a minimum

• include English Language – a minimum grade of 4/C

Mathematics – If not achieved within the scope of the above should normally be achieved at grade 3/D. If mathematics is not achieved at grade 4/C then it will be a requirement to continue to study at the correct level until a grade 4 is achieved. Subjects with a mathematical content will require a higher grade.

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