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Government and Political Studies A Level at Dame Alice Owen's School

Course description

This new A Level course will appeal to those students who already have, or want to acquire, an interest in contemporary British politics, Political theory and Global politics. You will be curious to know and understand how the political system works and the ideologies behind it, as well as the theories that shape foreign policy both nationally and internationally.

The subject is relevant, the approach is topical and lively and the style discursive.

This qualification reflects the demands of a truly modern and evolving political environment in the UK and around the world, allowing those who study it to apply themselves, giving them the skills they need to succeed. This subject also helps in the development of discussion and debating skills.

Students can expect to take part in the following debates and more:

  • Should we have an electoral reform?
  • Do we have a democratic deficit in the UK?
  • Are women truly represented in Parliament?
  • Is Conservatism the ideology of the rich?
  • Is the Labour Party over or has it just begun?
  • Should we abolish the House of Lords or reform it?
  • Jeremy Corbyn: the man of the people?
  • What is more important: happiness or freedom?
  • Can we live in an anarchist state?
  • Are human beings naturally good or are they selfish?
  • Why have anti- terrorism measures been criticised?
  • Gender and politics: will men and women ever be equal?

Students are expected to follow current political developments routinely through the media: quality newspapers, the internet, television and radio programmes. We visit Parliament and students are encouraged to see both Houses in action by hearing MPs and peers speak in debates. We take advantage of our proximity to the ‘corridors of power’ to attend lectures, invite visiting speakers and students are encouraged to become politically active through joining a political party or a single issue pressure group.

Politics students learn and use a variety of transferable skills in great demand by universities and employers eg. to collect, analyse and question information and to communicate orally and on paper. Studying Politics is addictive; the majority of students go on to read Politics or a related discipline at the ‘top’ universities, then embark on careers in law, media, civil service, business or politics!

Entry requirements

Grade 6 in History (if taken) and a Grade 6 in English Language or Literature.

Assessment

Examination Board - Edexcel

Assessment consists of 3 components, all to be completed at the end of Year 2, and it is all exam based.

Component 1: UK Politics - 33.3% of the examination

  • Content overview:
    • Political participation: democracy and participation, political parties, role of the media, electoral systems, voting behaviour
    • Core political ideas: socialism, liberalism and conservatism

Component 2: UK Government - 33.3% of the examination

  • Content overview:
    • UK Government: the constitution, parliament, the prime minister and the cabinet
    • Optional political ideas; one idea from the following: anarchism, nationalism, feminism, multiculturalism and ecologism

Component 3: Comparative politics - 33.3% of the examination

  • Content overview:
    • Global politics: theories of global politics, sovereignty and globalisation, global governance: human rights and environmental, power and developments, regionalism and the European Union

As a department, we encourage not only our Politics students but the whole school to become more educated politically as we strongly believe that our subject is one of the most important subjects for young students as it allows them to form their own opinions and arguments. We therefore encourage our politics students to lead various debates, to contact external speakers to take part in debates and to educate the younger years politically through debating club. Moreover, we organise a trip to parliament for our politics students every year so that they can see 'politics in action'; this is a trip that they thoroughly enjoy and value.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Dame Alice Owen's School directly.

Last updated date: 31 October 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years

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