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Government & Politics - A Level at Heckmondwike Grammar School

Course description

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Course content

Course Content


Politics of the UK

This unit focuses on democracy and participation, such as elections and referendums, political parties and pressure groups and the European Union. Students will learn about the development of democracy and the different types of democracies. In addition, they will be required to analyse and evaluate the characteristics of different systems used in parliamentary elections.

Government of the UK

Complementing our unit on participation is this unit which addresses the main elements of UK Government. It includes how the constitution evolved and the main functions and powers of the main branches of the UK government. Students will be expected to analyse the relationships between each of these branches. The main areas of focus are Parliament, the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the judiciary and devolution. 


Government and politics of the USA 

Students will study the US constitution, Congress, the President and the judiciary. In addition, concepts such as checks and balances and the separation of powers will be examined that are embedded in the formulation of the constitution. Students should analyse and evaluate the nature and significance of the US Constitution the Congress and the Presidency. 

They will also learn about the US electoral system including the main characteristics of presidential and congressional elections and campaigns. Key elements of this system are the political parties and pressure groups, students will analyse and evaluate the role they play in the US system. 

Comparative politics

Students will need to analyse and explain the similarities and differences between the UK and US systems.

Political Ideas

This unit explores Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism and other ideologies. Students will analyse and evaluate the nature and core values of these ideologies and be able to describe the thoughts of key thinkers.

Entry requirements

Minimum requirements for admission to the Sixth Form:*

A grade 5 in mathematics, with a 6 preferred.
A grade 5 in English language or English literature, with a 6 preferred.
Achieving at least 3 other GCSEs at grade 6 or above.

*Can be studied at A level without prior study

  • General entry criteria apply*



Addessment Paper 1
Government and politics of the UK.  A written exam: 2 hours long, 77 marks which is 33⅓ % of A-level
Assessment Paper 2
The government and politics of the USA & Comparative politics.  A written exam: 2 hours long, 77 marks which is 33⅓ % of A-level
Assessment Paper 3
Political Ideas.  A written exam: 2 hours long, 77 marks which is 33⅓ % of A-level

Future opportunities

Career Opportunities

Many students go on to study Politics or a related subject at university; at Heckmondwike Grammar School, we have a strong tradition of students making such a transition. From there you might become a researcher, take part in local politics (we have had a few recent students embark on this path too) or even start on the path to become a future Prime Minister! But there are other job options too; students also go on to become journalists, teachers, civil servants or lawyers.

Further information

Special Features

Government and Politics students can interpret, analyse and evaluate complex data, wrestle with challenging ideas, construct logical and persuasive written arguments and adapt their thinking to keep pace with shifting circumstances. They will need to compare different systems of government. These skills and qualities are held in high regard by most universities and employers.

Exam Board: AQA

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 08 October 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 52 Weeks

Contact details