Accessibility links

Politics A Level at Plymouth High School for Girls

Course description

With an ever changing global political landscape it is essential students have a keen interest in current aÙairs and the news of the day. As well as this, students require a love of reading, a curiosity to research independently and an openness to new ideas and ways of thinking. As a result, we recommend that students have at least a grade B at GCSE English as proven English skills are essential to source work and for essay writing.

Course content

The A/AS Level course is both engaging and intellectually challenging and seeks to develop students’ wider understanding of the world around them. The skills required are relevant for a range of careers and students who choose the course are able to develop skills of communication, analysis and evaluation, interpretation, presentation, synthesis of ideas, use of sources as well as eÙective reading and writing. Ultimately, this course looks to broaden understanding of how the modern political world operates allowing them to build on their own experiences whilst giving them the knowledge and skills to help them progress through their A Levels and beyond.

AS Units

Contemporary Politics of the UK. This unit explores current political developments in the UK in order to build a comprehensive understanding of British politics. Using our current experiences of coalition politics, the unit will explore the traditional roles of the political parties, what they stand for and their traditional support base. It will examine the role and signiÚcance of pressure groups and how they have impacted government policies over the decades. The module will also look at the current debate over electoral reform, including the key developments over past General Elections as well as the changing voting behaviour in the UK.
1 hr 30 min exam: Source questions + 1 essay

Contemporary Government of the UK. This unit focuses on how politics in the UK works through an examination of the current political system. It will look to explain the role of constitutions and executives, including the responsibilities of the civil service and the Cabinet. The module also looks at the role of the House of Commons and House of Lords exploring the current debate on the needs for Parliamentary reform. Finally the module looks at the rights of the individual through an examination of the judiciary before tackling the debate on Britain’s place in relation to the European Union as well as issues of UK devolution and Scottish independence.
1 hr 30 min exam: Source questions + 1 essay

A2 Units

Political Ideas and Concepts. At A2 the focus is on the key ideas that underlie UK, European and Global politics. We examine the key political thinkers that have shaped the modern world looking at diverse ideas ranging from democracy and rule of law to religious fundamentalism and anarchy. The focus is also on the diÙerent political ideologies that exist from the mainstream ideas of Liberalism, Conservatism and Socialism to the more extreme views of fascism and communism. Finally the module will include a range of alternative political ideologies including feminism, globalism and ecology.
2 hr exam: 4 short essays

Political Ideas and Concepts in Practice. The second unit looks for students to apply what they have developed in the Úrst unit and apply it to the contemporary world both in the UK, Europe and around the world. The focus will be on building contextual knowledge of the key changes going on in global politics in the 21st Century and the range of directions it is taking from the rise of Russian nationalism in Ukraine to the role of religious fundamentalism in the Arab Spring. Knowledge will also be drawn from AS Politics looking at the rise of the radical right and the catch all nature of the main parties.
2 hr exam: 2 essays

Entry requirements

With an ever changing global political landscape it is essential students have a keen interest in current aÙairs and the news of the day. As well as this, students require a love of reading, a curiosity to research independently and an openness to new ideas and ways of thinking. As a result, we recommend that students have at least a grade B at GCSE English as proven English skills are essential to source work and for essay writing.

Future opportunities

Politics A/AS is viewed well by universities which recognise the discipline as providing sound intellectual base for further study at university in the arts, humanities and social sciences. The most obvious link is in helping students who have an interest in working in politics and the civil service. Other careers include the legal profession, business and management, journalism and broadcast media.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 03 March 2017

Key information

Venues