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Government & Politics AS at Southborough High School

Course description



‘One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.’  - Plato


‘Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn't happen.’  - Winston Churchill



Why study Government and Politics?

Political decisions have a major influence on our lives. For that reason, it is important for young people to understand how their system of government operates. They should also be able, as informed citizens, to participate in the democratic process and make a difference when they have left school. A-level Politics is ideal preparation for those very important privileges that we as citizens of the United Kingdom enjoy.


The study of Politics is an exciting intellectual challenge where students can deploy a variety of academic skills. It involves debate and discussion, the ability to create an effective argument, to think and write logically and to make informed judgements about controversial issues. It also involves critical analysis and the ability to explain and express ideas and concepts clearly.  


Politics shares many study skills with history and for this reason, it is often studied by students in combination with history both at A-level and at degree level. It also combines well with a range of other academic subjects including English, Modern Languages and Geography.

Course content


The course

Students complete two units in year 12 to complete their AS level, and two further units in year 13 to complete the full A-level course.

Year 12

 The AS course gives a good grounding in the fundamentals of British  Politics. The AS course consists of two modules, ‘People and Politics’ and ‘Governing Modern Britain.’


Unit 1 People and Politics

This unit introduces students to the key channels of communication between government and the people. It encourages them to evaluate the adequacy of existing arrangements for ensuring representative democracy and participation. Topic areas studied include Democracy and Participation; Political Parties and Ideas; Elections and Pressure Groups.


Unit 2 Governing Modern Britain

This unit introduces students to the major governmental processes within the UK. It encourages them to develop a critical understanding of the role and effectiveness of key institutions, and of the relationship amongst them in the context of multi-level governance. Topic areas studied include the UK Constitution, Parliament, and the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Future opportunities


What can I do with A- level Government and Politics?

The above academic skills will be of benefit in a wide variety of university degrees. The ability to argue well, to use appropriately selected supporting evidence, to analyse sources of information, to write coherently and to reach informed judgements will stand all students in good stead at university. They will also help equip you for a wide variety of careers. In the fields of management, law, administration, accountancy, journalism and marketing, an A-level in Politics is a highly valued asset. Many employers regard A- level Politics as a very good training in the marshalling of arguments and in decision-making.


It will also help provide an excellent foundation to those who wish to pursue Politics, Law, Economics, Philosophy or History to degree level.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: one year
  • Number of planned places: 12

Contact details