Accessibility links

Government & Politics AS & A Level at Bridgewater High School

Course description

It should be noted that from September 2017 there will be a new Government & Politics AS & A Level course. The specifications have not yet been published but the information we have so far suggests there will not be any major changes to the course content or methods of assessment. 

In Unit 1 - Students will look at the concept of democracy and how people participate in the political system. They will discover the traditions and policies of the UK political parties and the electoral system that puts them in government. They will also study the increasingly important role of pressure groups. 

In Unit 2 - Students will investigate the structures and the effectiveness of the UK system of government - the constitution, Parliament, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, judges and civil libertines. 

In Unit 3 - Students will study the representative processes of the USA. This includes the electoral mechanisms used in the US and voting behaviour. They will investigate the US political parties and their support basis, as well as the role of pressure groups. The importance of racial and ethnic diversity in the USA is a key feature of the course. 

In Unit 4 - Students will examine the institutional framework of the USA government and the relationships between the different bodies and their roles, including the role of President, the Congress and the Supreme Court. They will need to assess the health of the USA's democracy and federal system.

Course content

AS: The study of UK Government & Politics

  • Unit 1: People & Politics
  • Unit 2: Governing the UK

A2: The study of USA Government & Politics

  • Unit 3: Key themes in political analysis - Representative processes in the USA
  • Unit 4: Extended themes in political analysis - Governing the USA

Entry requirements

5 GCSE’S at A* - C or equivalent, including at least a grade C in Product Design or Graphic Products. Students who have studied Art GCSE may apply but must realise that they will have to gain an understanding of materials and industrial processes before beginning the course.



  • Unit 1: 1 hour 20 mins exam. Students will be required to answer 2 structured questions. Each will have a mark tariff of 5m, 10m, 25m.
  • Unit 2: 1 hour 20 mins exam. Students will be required to answer one stimulus based question. This will have a mark tariff of 5m, 10m, 25m. Then one extended 40m essay question. 


  • Uni 3: 1 hour 30 mins exam. Students will be required to answer 3 short answer questions, 15m each. They one extended 45m essay question. 
  • Unit 4: 1 hour 30 mins exam. Students will be required to answer 3 short answer questions, 15m each. Then one extended 45m essay question.

Future opportunities

Government & Politics is a dynamic and fast changing subject. It gives students an excellent understanding of current affairs and a real understanding of the workings of the modern political world. The skills they will gain are invaluable for further study and the world of work; they will learn to analyse and evaluate arguments and evidence, articulate their point of view, lead out presentations and understand and emphasise with a wide variety of views. The study of Government & Politics fits well with other humanity and social science subjects. It will facilitate careers in such areas as law, journalism, the civil service and marketing.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Bridgewater High School directly.

Last updated date: 18 October 2016

Key information