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Politics AS and A Level at Park House School

Course description

Politics is all around you; in the workplace, in schools, even in your own home. Everyday, decisions are being made that will affect the lives of millions of people in this country and around the world. Yet what is Politics? What do politicians do when they do politics? Similarly, what is Democracy? Is Britain a democracy? The aim of this course is two-fold. Firstly, to provide students with a sound understanding of how our system of government works, the ‘actors’ that influence the political process and the political ideas behind them as well as to consider current issues and potential reforms. Secondly, to develop your skills of independent investigative research and your ability to critically analyse information thereby enabling you to express your thoughts and ideas clearly, concisely and construct a logical and forceful argument both verbally and in writing. So, if you are intrigued by the way the government makes decisions, who makes them and why as well as the thinking behind government policies, then this subject will interest you.

Course content

AS Course summary
Unit 1 People and Politics
Focuses on issues such as democracy, elections, political parties and pressure groups. It will also examine the case for electoral reform including proportional representation – 1 hr 20 mins exam.
Two questions from a choice of four each structured a,b,c
Unit 2 Governing the UK
Focuses on the UK Constitution, the role of Parliament, the Executive and the role and independence of the Judiciary. It will also consider recent constitutional reforms such as devolution, Parliamentary reform and Britain’s relationship with Europe – 1 hr and 20 mins exam.
One structured question from a choice of two based on stimulus material and one extended question from a choice of two. 
A2 Course summary
Unit 3 Representation in the USA
Focuses on issues such as Presidential elections and the influence of political parties and pressure groups on the political process. It will examine the issue of minority (racial) politics in light of the 2008 Presidential election – 1 hr and 30 mins exam.
Three short questions out of a choice of five and one essay from a choice of three.
Unit 4 Governing the USA
Focuses on the US Constitution, Congress, the Supreme Court, the Presidency and Federalism.
It will also compare and contrast aspects of the UK and US government such as the Presidency and Prime Minister as well as Congress and Parliament – 1 hr and 30 mins exam.
Three short questions out of choice of five and one essay from a choice of three.

Entry requirements

A genuine interest in politics and current affairsA willingness to work hard and put effort into this challenging yet rewarding subjectA willingness to engage in political discussion and contribute to class debates as well as learn from othersDue to the nature of the subject, a B grade is recommended in English as well as in other humanities based subjects such as HistoryAn ability to work independently and research new topicsAn ability to present a reasoned and balanced argument both verbally and in writing.

Financial information

Approximately £50 for optional conferences.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Park House School directly.

Last updated date: 15 August 2016

Key information