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Politics A Level at Birchwood High School

Course description

Students will develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the political systems of Britain, political ideologies and global politics, vital for helping to understand the world in which we live.

Students will also develop a wide range of skills including the ability to comprehend and interpret political information. They will have to think for themselves, form judgements and evaluate and analyse political issues, through reasoned argument, using appropriate political vocabulary.

Component 1
UK Politics and Core Political Ideologies
This component explores the nature of politics and how people engage in the political process in the UK. Students investigate how people and politics interact and explore the emergence and development of the UK’s democratic system. There is a focus on the role and scope of political parties central to contemporary politics. Students examine the role of the individual in the political process and their relationship with the state and fellow citizens. They also examine how electoral systems in the UK operate and influences of voting behaviour and political actions. An understanding of the role of the media in contemporary politics and of voting patterns and voting behaviour will also be gained.
The Core Political Ideologies section allows students to explore the three traditional political ideas of conservatism, liberalism and socialism. Core ideas and principles are examined and how they apply in practice to human nature, the state, society and the economy, the divisions within each idea and their key thinkers.

Component 2
UK Government and Non-Core Political Ideology
This component enables students to understand where, how and by whom political decisions are made. It introduces students to the set of rules governing politics in the UK and the UK constitution. It examines the specific roles and powers of the different major branches of the government – legislative, executive, and judiciary – as well as the relationships and balance of power between them, and considers where sovereignty now lies within this system.
The Non-Core Political Ideology section allows students to explore an additional political ideas Students will learn about the core ideology and its principles, the effects of the ideology, the divisions within the ideology and its key thinkers.

Component 3
Comparative Politics - Global Politics
Global politics gives students an opportunity to develop an understanding of the local, national, international and global dimensions of political activity. It also gives them the opportunity to explore the political issues that affect all of us. Students will gain understanding of abstract political concepts through grounding them in contemporary real-world examples and case studies that will develop an international awareness and knowledge of multiple perspectives. Global politics encourages discussion and debate and requires students to study and present different glob-al perspectives, as well as interpreting competing and contestable claims. The key mainstream perspectives on global politics are liberalism and realism, and students will be expected to understand how these perspectives are applied throughout all elements of the qualification.

Special Requirements
In the examinations credit is given for appropriate references to contemporary developments, issues and debates in the areas covered. There-fore, it is an expectation that students carry out substantial and varied wider reading around the topics being studied. It will be necessary for students to keep up to date with current affairs and contemporary issues of politics, both British and global.

Career and Progression Opportunities
A Level Government and Politics can lead to a wide range of career and university education possibilities including Politics, Law, Teaching, Journalism, Media, Broadcasting, Research and Advertising.

Entry requirements

Grade 6 in GCSE History or English Literature.


Units are all assessed with a written exam, at the end of the two year course, each of 2 hours.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 03 May 2018
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