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Government and Politics AS and A Level at Tapton School

Course description

This is a fascinating and highly relevant course which deals with issues which affect everyone. Students are not expected to have any prior knowledge but an interest in current affairs is essential.  The course is broken down into three main areas:

  • British Politics
  • American Politics
  • Core Political Ideas

Course content

British Politics:

Students gain an insight into the ways in which the British political system works and how politics affects all aspects of our daily lives.

Areas of study include:

  • Parliament - is it just a lot of shouting?
  • Prime Minister and Cabinet - who runs the country?
  • Elections - do they really change anything?
  • Constitutional Reform - does the system need changing?
  • Participation - why do (or don't) people vote?
  • Political parties - what do they believe in?
  • Democracy - is it important?
  • The United Kingdon - how united is it?

American Politics

Students will gain an insight into how the US political system operates.  This will enable students to make a direct comparison with the UK political system.

  • Congress - whats the difference between the House and the Senate?
  • The President - how powerful is he?
  • The Supreme Court - will it abolish the death penalty?
  • Elections - why did Trump win and Clinton lose?
  • Constitution and Federalism - what powers do the States have?
  • Pressure Groups - enhancing or destroying democracy?
  • Political parties - do they mean anything in the USA?

Core Poltical Ideas

Students will explore the three traditional political ideas of conservatism, liberalism and socialism.  Students will learn about core ideas and principles and how they apply in practice to human nature, the state, society and the economy, the divisions within each idea and their key thinkers.  You will learn about one of the following ideologies:

  • Anarchism
  • Ecologism
  • Feminism
  • Multiculturalism
  • Nationalism


Entry requirements

A 5 in GCSE English Language or Literature.

A grade E in the AS is needed to progress to the A Level. 


AS Level Exams:

  1. UK Politics (1.5 hours)
  2. UK Government (1.5 hours)

A Level Exams:

  1. UK Politics and Core Political Ideas (2 hours)
  2. UK Government and Optional Political Ideas (2 hours)
  3. Comparative Politics - USA (2 hours)

Future opportunities

Politics develops the skills of enquiry and analysis as well as the ability to debate an issue and construct a balanced argument.  These skills provide an excellent foundation for a wide range of careers, for example law, journalism, the media, administration and management.

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: 13 November 2018

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 year for AS Level, 2 years for A Level