Accessibility links

Government & Politics AS/A2 Level at Carmel College

Course description

 In year 1 (Lower 6th) the focus is very much on the UK and our political system, but we will also do some work on political philosophy and the origins of Western liberal democracy too. Students are also introduced to politics in the wider political and social context, within which we explore the effect of social class, gender, ethnicity etc. on the political system

In year 2 the emphasis is still on acquiring political knowledge, but equal emphasis is now devoted to the development of more sophisticated critical evaluation skills. Our studies will have a more international flavour, with obvious emphasis on the USA and our “special relationship” with them. We also explore the synoptic relationship between the US and UK forms of government, including political ideology in some depth.

Course content

You will study the following modules at AS Level:

Unit 1 - People, Politics and Participation (Sept - Dec)

This includes the following four areas of study: Political Participation and Voting Behaviour; Electoral Systems; Political Parties; Pressure Groups and Protest Movements.

Unit 2 - Governing Modern Britain (Jan - May)

This unit includes the following four areas of study: The British Constitution; Parliament; The Core Executive (Government); Multi-level Governance (including Devolution and the European Union).

At A2 Level (Upper 6th), you will progress to the following units:

Unit 3b – Political Ideologies

The four areas of study include: Liberalism, Conservation, Socialism, Fascism.

Unit 4a – The Government of the USA

In this unit the four areas are: The Constitutional Framework of US Government; The Legislative Branch of Government - US Congress; The Executive Branch of Government - The Office of President; The Judicial Branch of Government - The Supreme Court.

Entry requirements

You will need GCSE grade B in English Language (grade C will be considered if there are sufficient places) plus a GCSE grade B in one other essay based subject.


Exam Board - AQA

You will sit two exams per year both in the summer. In both years the exams are one and a half hours duration each and have equal weighting

You will be marked regularly on mostly written assignments and given a progress grade with which you will be able to monitor yourself. This will be reviewed on a regular basis between you and your tutor. As an individual student you are only judged against your individual minimum expected grade (MEG) and this determines your rate of progress on the course.

Future opportunities

The AS course will prepare you for continued study to A2 Level, and from there, to university degree study and various possible career pathways thereafter. The study of politics is very useful for a number of careers and is a well established subject at the most prestigious universities in the UK.

Further information

What support will I receive?

There will be the opportunity to book regular support/extension tutorials, with email back up and regular communication with your tutor. You will also be encouraged to actively develop and contribute to the development of course materials and resources.

There will also be relevant DVDs for you to watch on your own or with fellow students as part of your wider study and research commitments. You will be guided to relevant websites and encouraged to discover additional ones too! The information and materials on politics continues to grow at an amazing rate.

What other opportunities will the study of Government and Politics offer me?

We invite visiting speakers into the classroom to talk with students. These visitors have included ex-local MP Dave Watts, European MPs, Officers from the local council, and even ex-Government Minister, Andy Burnham. The annual trip to London in the first year is a great opportunity for you to visit Parliament and the US Embassy. As we also study US Politics, in the second year there is the possibility of a trip to Washington DC and other East Coast cities.

 In addition, there are local trips to the Slavery Museum in Liverpool, and to relevant lectures at the Philharmonic Hall and Edge Hill University. As part of the Enrichment Programme, students can get involved in the Mock United Nations General Assembly (MUNGA) which takes place at Liverpool Town Hall every November.

Finally, students are also encouraged to take an interest in Carmel’s Student Council body, which is elected on an annual basis and works on behalf of all the students at Carmel.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 05 September 2016

Key information