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Politics AS & A Level at Durham Sixth Form Centre

Course description

Politics is the study of how power is distributed within modern societies. It seeks to understand why conflicts and disputes arise within our society, how they are resolved and why some ideas and groups are more successful than others. Politics is thus central to our understanding of what happens to us in all areas of modern life.

The course studies the way in which people become engaged in political issues and the developments occuring within UK politics. It is thus a constantly changing, fascinating and unpredictable subject which springs constant surprises.

The course enables students to understand how both the people and the government are involved in the process and activity of political decision making. Students taking the course will be encouraged to become familiar with contemporary political ideas and to contribute their views to discussions and debates on a wide range of topical political issues. Students will be able to develop a wide range of study skills. No prior knowledge of the subject is needed.

Course content


  • UK Politics – democracy and participation, political parties, electoral systems, voting behaviour and the media
  • UK Government – constitution, parliament, PM and executive, relationship between the branches


  • Core Political Ideas – Conservatism, Liberalism, Socialism
  • Optional Political Ideas – Anarchism
  • Global Politics – theories of global politics, sovereignty and globalisation, global governance, power and developments, regionalism and European Union
  • Other ideological traditions – the alternative ideologies of Environmentalism, Nationalism, Feminism and Multiculturalism.

Entry requirements

There are a range of courses and pathways available to you at Durham Sixth Form Centre depending on your GCSE results and academic profile. In order to enrol with us as a student, you must have the minimum of 5 A*-C GCSE grades (or equivalent). In addition, individual subjects have specific entry requirements, which will be discussed with you during the application and enrolment process. Students who do not achieve a grade C or above (or numerical equivalent) in GCSE English and/or mathematics will be required to continue studying these subjects at Durham Sixth Form Centre.

If you do not meet our entry requirements but are still keen to study at Durham Sixth Form Centre, please contact us to discuss your options.

Financial information

Students will also be given the opportunity to engage in a variety of local political events, activities and debates. There is plenty of scope for debate, discussion and active political involvement if desired. Each year we visit the UK Parliament and have also visited the United Nations in New York, the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Aushwitz Birkenau in Poland and the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh in the past.

Further information

Politics is an essay-based social science and this combines best with subjects such as Sociology, History, Classics, Law, Economics and Philosophy

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Durham Sixth Form Centre directly.

Last updated date: 13 January 2017
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Key information


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    • Durham Sixth Form Centre is located in Durham City Centre next to Gala Square and Freeman’s Quay. We are a couple of minutes walk from both the bus station and the railway station. Our students enjoy having all of the city centre facilities, shops, restaurants, the city library, cinema and theatre on our doorstep. In the city itself, students find a host of lively cultural, social and educational advantages and facilities. The galleries, exhibitions, museums and book shops all play their part in enriching the student experience. A large public car-park is directly opposite and adjacent to Durham Sixth Form Centre’s main entrance.