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A Level Government and Politics at King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford

Course description

Government and Politics aims to provide students with a broad insight into contemporary government and society in the UK. It enables them to develop analytical and research skills needed for many degree courses and career avenues. There will be an opportunity to visit the USA, in conjunction with the History department, where you can broaden your political experience by visiting the UN and by learning about the American political system.

Course content

The AS course is divided into two units:

  •  Unit 1 (‘Contemporary Politics of the UK’) focuses on British political parties and elections, electoral systems, pressure groups and voting behaviour;
  •  Unit 2 (‘Contemporary Government of the UK’) addresses the key elements of the British government: the constitution, the executive, the legislative, the judiciary and the European Union.

The A2 course is divided into two units:

  •  Unit 3 (‘Political Ideas and Concepts’) explores political theory and ideology and ideology, considering key issues such as democracy, freedom, equality, power and ideology;
  •  Unit 4 (‘Political Ideas and Concepts in Practice’) aims to bring together the AS and A2 modules by examining contemporary British politics in the light of political theory.

Entry requirements

  •  A knowledge of, and interest in, current affairs is essential. Students who wish to achieve a high grade will need to follow the news through newspapers, TV, radio, internet, etc.
  •  Students are required to demonstrate knowledge of key political debates and concepts, analyse issues with precision and show a keen awareness of differing viewpoints.
  •  They are expected to construct answers to specific questions with relevance, clarity and coherence.
  •  Students are assessed by regular essays, structured questions and presentations, as well as contributions to the various class activities.


  •  Units 1 & 2 are examined at the end of Year 12, each through a 90 minute exam. This constitutes AS Level Government and Politics.
  •  Unit 3 and Unit 4 are examined at the end of Year 13. Each paper lasts for 2 hours. The AS and AS units together constitute A Level Government and Politics.
  •  The four units are equally weighted (each worth 25% of the final A Level grade).

Future opportunities

Government and Politics goes well with A Levels such as History, English and Philosophy that involve skills of analysis and extended writing. By the same token, other students take it as their only Humanities subject. It is good preparation for degree courses in Politics, History, International Relations, American Studies, Law, Media Studies and the like. It will form a useful basis for careers involving research, the construction of argument and communicating in both written and verbal formats, such as law, journalism, media/broadcasting, civil service administration, teaching and lecturing.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford directly.

Last updated date: 01 May 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years