Accessibility links

Government & Politics GCE AS/A Level at Richmond-upon-Thames College

Course description

Politics is about considering important questions such as; Why the voting age should be lowered to 16? Why aren’t there more women in British Politics? Why do so few people vote in UK elections? Politics is around us and influence our everyday lives. Politics is about the way societies handle the competition for power, decide who may use that power and how it can be curbed to avoid abuse. Politics means different things to different people, it can solve problems, offer alternatives, stimulate anger and frustration or allow for people to live a better life.

‘Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you’. Pericles

Course content

The topics you will cover if you do the AS Level only are:

UK Politics –You will study features of democracy and participation, functions and features of political parties, electoral systems in UK, voting behaviour and the role of media.

UK Government – You will study the workings of Parliament, the constitution, Prime Minister and executive as well as relationship between branches.

Core & Non-Core Political Ideas – You will study the key political ideologies of Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism & Feminism.


If you choose to do the full A Level you will study all of the above, plus:

Comparative Politics – Global Politics – You will study and explore some of the topical global issues such as globalisation and its economic, political and cultural impacts. The course will also cover the main theories of International Relations such as Realism and Liberalism. The course will also explore the role and significance of international organisations such as UN, IMF, World Bank, G8/20 and non-state actors. You will also explore the causes and consequences of climate change & environmental issues.


We arrange various enrichment activities every year such as day trips to Parliament and the Supreme Court. In addition, we organise regular residential visits to Berlin and New York. Our Politics department also runs a Debate Club on a weekly basis and we have participated in regional debating competitions. We also have visits from external speakers such as local MPs Vincent Cable and Zac Goldsmith.

Entry requirements

You will need an average GCSE points score of 5.5 including GCSE English at grade 6.


There is no coursework, written examinations only.

AS Level

  • The course is assessed by TWO 1 hour 45 minutes written exams.
  • Each exam is worth 50% of the qualification.
  • The exam papers include a range of different questions such as, source-based questions, extended essay, and some shorter questions.

A Level

  • The course is assessed by THREE written exams of two hours each. Each exam is worth 33.33% of the qualification.
  • Component 1: UK Politics & Core Political Ideas
  • Component 2: UK Government & Non-Core Political Ideas
  • Component 3: Comparative Politics - Global Politics

Again, there is no coursework.

Financial information

You will need to pay for conferences, trips, visits, fieldwork, text books and some printed workbooks. Total cost should not exceed £70 for each year of the course.

Future opportunities

You learn and use a variety of transferable skills throughout the course. These include collecting and analysing information and evaluating different political ideas and systems. Your written communication skills will develop greatly, as will your ability to question information given to you. These skills are in great demand and are recognised by employers, universities and colleges as being of great value. AS/A2 level government and politics is acceptable at all universities for entry and just about all areas of professional life accept it as a useful and valid subject. In particular it can lead to careers in journalism, the media, public relations and, of course, government.

Further information

To find out more about this course please visit our website or contact us on or 020 8607 8302

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Richmond-upon-Thames College directly.

Last updated date: 18 October 2017
Provider logo

Key information

Contact details