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Politics A-Level at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College

Course description

How do elections work? Have I got any rights? You will find the answers in this course which covers how power is used and decisions made in Britain, Europe and the USA.

This is an excellent subject for anyone who wants to improve their awareness of current affairs, self-confidence and persuasive skills. Politics students experience a variety of teaching and learning styles including trips, discussions and use of the Internet. It is the one subject for which TV viewing is compulsory!

The AS course covers voting behaviour and electoral systems, parties and pressure groups, and features of representative democracy which includes the European Union, Parliament and devolution. At A2 the course focuses on the government and politics of the USA and comprises and conpares and contrasts this with the UK.

Contrary to popular belief, most students do not go on to become politicians, but find the course a first-class preparation for the wider world outside College.

As part of the course we usually offer visits to Parliament, Washington DC, shadowing local MP and invite relevant guest speakers.

Course content

The Politics AS course lasts one year and two modules will be studied. Both will be assessed by examination.

AS Modules consider UK government and Politics.

Unit 1: Will deal with Political parties, pressure groups, electoral systems (including UK parliamentary elections), voting behaviour, and ideology.
Unit 2: Deals with the executive (PM and Cabinet), the legislative (Parlaiment), the role of the judiciary and the protection of civil rights and liberties, the constitution, the EU, local government and devolution.

The A2 course also lasts one year and builds on the units studied at AS Level. Two further modules are studied and both are examined.

Unit 3: US elections, voting behaviour, political parties and pressure groups.
Unit 4: A study of the US Constitution, federalism, the Presidency, Congress and the Supreme Court.

How it is taught

Politics is assessed by examination only and is taught in a variety of ways, these include:

  • Class discussion of topical issues.
  • Debates and individual presentations.
  • Visits and guest speakers (e.g. local MP, member of House of Lords, local councillors).
  • Use of videos and BBC Parliament.
  • Internet sources and ICT.
  • Use of journals such as the Politics Review.
  • Reading and research using the College and Departmental libraries.
  • Essay writing, note making and interpreting data.

Entry requirements

The usual entry requirement to QE is 5 GCSE grades at C or above including Maths or English. A good number of students study four AS Levels in their first year and to do this we require at least 3B grades and 3C grades at GCSE including Maths and English Language. Students who do not achieve these GCSE grades take fewer subjects at A Level and will be required to do resits in GCSE Maths and English if they have not already achieved a grade C in these core subjects. The College is large enough to have a very flexible timetable that allows students to take almost any combination of subjects at A Level. The advantage of this system is that we can tailor your programme to suit your needs and abilities. We give lots of advice if you decide to apply to the College.

Subject Specific

Students should have a keen interest in current affairs and contemporary issues.

Future opportunities

Some students go on to study Politics at university; at degree level there has been a significant growth in the number of students studying Political Science over the last decade. However, for many students the study of Politics to AS/A2 level has given them the necessary understanding of political processes to be of value in their chosen career.

Careers for which Politics is directly relevant include journalism, local government, civil service, law, political research, teaching, accountancy, and management.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 17 April 2015
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