Accessibility links

Government & Politics at Gateshead College

Course description

One of the defining characteristics of the subject is that it is dynamic and contemporary. You will learn to understand the political system by studying developments as they happen. This sheds further light on the theory studied in class and gives a great sense of the importance of Politics. It is this which helps to make the subject so interesting to the vast majority of students who study it.

As well as learning factual information, students will start to appreciate different political perspectives.

Our starting point for each topic, is to develop an awareness of how the system works before we go on to apply contemporary evidence and question the desirability of the way in which Politics works in the UK.

We will use the latest news items in our lessons but will also want to develop an independence of thought in our students so they have the desire and the ability to successfully digest the latest news.


Course content

  • People, Politics and Participation: We explore how people's different patterns of participation can be explained and the forms of participation in a democracy. The importance of voting behaviour, the influence of electoral systems in communicating political opinion and the controversies surrounding the use of referendums are crucial topics for analysis.
  • Governing Modern Britain: This unit focuses on the process of governing the UK, with power dispersed from local to European levels. We also look at the role of Westminster in providing a democratic element in government and the various bodies present in parliament.
  • Ideologies: A unique opportunity to discover in depth what fascism, liberalism, socialism and conservativism are. By the end of this unit you will be subject experts in these.
  • The Government of the USA: For many the USA is a fascinating country: so like the UIK, yet so different. In spite of this, the general public know so little about what the various institutions of the USA are. What is Congress or the Supreme Court and how does someone become President?

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of four GCSEs A* to C
  • An equivalent Level 2 qualification
  • Diploma Level 2


  • People, Politics and Participation (90 minute exam)
  • Governing Modern Britain (90 minutes exam)
  • Ideologies (90 minute exam)
  • The Government of the USA (90 minute exam)

Future opportunities

The subject will develop critical skills and writing abilities and as such is very well respected by Universities as a rigorous subject.

It is useful if you wish to study History or any social science, such as Economics, Business etc at University. Several of our students have gone on to study similar courses at Cambridge.

It is particularly useful for those interested in careers in Law, Journalism and, of course, Politics. Students have gone on to these, and a huge variety of other careers.

Further information

Our students also get involved in an exciting array of trips and experiences, such as work experience with an MP, attending a local election count, the debating society and one-to-one talks with councillors and political students at university level.

We also have begun to forge links with the American Studies Department at a local university, which further enhances the experience of studying A Levels at Gateshead.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Gateshead College directly.

Last updated date: 12 April 2016

Key information


  • More information
    • Gateshead College's Baltic Campus is located on the Gateshead quayside, just minutes from Newcastle City Centre and its attractions.

      The College is situated behind the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and The Sage Gateshead.

      The College has its own car park, but at busy times alternative parking is available nearby.

      There is a charge for parking. Students can apply for a permit to allow free parking during study time.