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Government & Politics A level at Esher College

Course description

This subject will provide you with the political knowledge and skills to enable you to make more sense of the political processes and decisions, both in the UK and internationally, that have so much impact on your everyday life. It will enable you to develop the political awareness that provides a foundation for effective participation as a citizen of the United Kingdom, the European Union and the world.

You will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of political institutions, concepts and theories and be able to analyse and evaluate political arguments and views. You will be able to construct and communicate clear arguments, using relevant examples and evidence and appropriate political language.

Course content

During the first year you are introduced to the political system in Britain. This includes theories of democracy, critical assessment of British democracy, political participation, and understanding of elections and different voting systems. We will also examine the roles, policies and methods of political organisations, such as pressure groups and political parties. The course includes evaluation of the working of the main political institutions, such as Parliament, the PM, Cabinet and the way in which the UK constitution has changed and developed in recent years.

In the second year the focus is on global politics. You examine theories of international relations, globalisation and world order. You also assess the role of international organisations, such as the United Nations, and study the political issues arising from the European Union. In addition, you consider, in a global dimension, topics such as war, terrorism, nuclear arms, human rights, poverty, development and environmental issues.

Entry requirements

The course assumes no previous knowledge of the subject. However, during the course you will be expected to take an interest in politics that extends beyond the classroom, for example, using the media to follow the latest developments and the internet to undertake political research

The minimum entry requirement for study at Esher College is 5 GCSEs at A* - C (or 9 – 4 in Maths and English).  We encourage students to aim significantly higher than this to ensure that study programmes are successfully completed.

Aside from the general entry criteria that the College requires, you will also need to achieve at least a grade 4 in English Language at GCSE.

If you do not have a grade 4 in either GCSE English Language or Maths and you qualify to follow a study programme at the College, you will be required to retake one or both of these subjects in your first year.  A lack of GCSE English Language at grade 4 will significantly restrict study programme options.


Assessment is through four written examinations: each accounts for 25% of the entire A Level. 

Future opportunities

Many of our students go on to study Politics or related degrees, such as International Relations, at university. Some may eventually work in an area of political life but for the majority a qualification in Politics provides a range of intellectual skills that are transferable to a variety of employment and higher education opportunities. For example, the skills and knowledge developed in the Politics A Level provide a good basis for studying law, and a number of our students go on to a Law degree and a legal career.

Further information

Please note that this subject is in the process of being reformed. The current information reflects what is known about the new course and further details will be available on the website when the specification (syllabus) has been finalised and published.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Esher College directly.

Last updated date: 12 October 2016
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