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Government and Politics A Level at Sir William Borlase's Grammar School

Course description

There can be no more appropriate or fascinating time at which to study Government and Politics than during the years in which one becomes entitled to participate fully in the political process.  The subject sits at an intriguing intersection between live news events and theory: it is fast-paced, compelling and important.


Throughout the two years of the course students are expected to make links between the political theory that they learn about in the classroom and the political events that are playing out on the UK and world stage, particularly the USA.

In Year 12 students focus on the UK system of government and the British political culture. The Governing the UK unit provides a detailed working knowledge of the UK’s governance.  The role and significance of Parliament, the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Judiciary is analysed and debated.  The nature and importance of our un-codified constitution is examined.  In People and Politics, students develop an understanding of the way in which people get involved in the political process.  Elections and voting, parties and ideologies and pressure groups all come under the microscope.  We debate the extent to which Britain has a ‘democratic deficit’ and what can be done about it.

Year 13 sees the students’ attention turn to goings-on across the pond.  The vibrant and alien political culture of the United States is examined in the Representative Processes unit.  This involves scrutinising racial and ethnic politics in the USA, the role of interest groups and money as well as political parties and elections.  Governing the USA provides a comprehensive overview of America’s divided government: the Constitution, the Presidency, Congress and the Supreme Court.


Success at A level in Government and Politics demands a balance between two skills.  Firstly, students must work hard to gain an understanding of the theories and rules that regulate British and American politics.  Alongside this, it is vital that students keep abreast of developments in the current political climate.  Lessons, therefore, tend to be largely based around discussion and debate.

The study of Government and Politics hones one’s ability to think and write analytically.  The subject is a good companion to History, Geography and Modern Foreign Languages.

The History and Government and Politics department organises visits to conferences at which students can hear directly from leading political scientists, journalists and politicians.  The department has run successful Year 13 study trips to Washington DC and New York City in the October half term of 2012, 2013 and 2014 and we plan to replicate this trip in 2015 and 2016.

Entry requirements

Grade A at GCSE History or by approval of the Head of Department

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Sir William Borlase's Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 25 August 2016
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 years
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