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Government & Politics A Level at Heanor Gate Science College

Course description

The study of government and politics is a fascinating subject given the impact that politics has on our everyday lives. In this course you will have the opportunity to study:

  • The processes and ideas behind the government of both the UK and USA
  • The ideologies and make up of the major political parties within the UK and how these have changed over time
  • A subject that is based on current issues and affairs that are happening now

Course content

AS

The AS course is an introduction to the study of Government and Politics with the focus being the examination of the Government and Politics of the UK. At this level the aim is to develop students’ political knowledge and skills.

Unit 1 People, Politics and Participation

This unit focuses on explaining people’s political behaviour in the UK. How views are shaped and the ways they are expressed through voting and involvement in political organisations. We also look at how groups gain influence and use it within a democratic system and how people communicate their political ideas. The principal institutions through which people’s participation is achieved: political parties and pressure groups are explored in terms of communicating views, shaping people’s political ideas and the acquisition of resources which are likely to make them more powerful within the wider political system.

Unit 2 Governing Modern Britain

This unit focuses on the process of governing the UK, with power dispersed from local to European levels. The extent to which Britain’s unique constitution regulates the process of government and maintains the balance between individual rights and the power of the state is explored. The role of Westminster in providing a democratic element in government is examined as well as the degree to which power rests in the hands of unelected bureaucrats. The direction which government takes is analysed at the very apex of power in arrangements within the core executive. Academic controversies are assessed in terms of the focus on the key issue of how Britain is governed.

A2

At A2 there is a requirement for synoptic assessment and, in this unit, it is expected that students will draw upon and extend the political knowledge, skills and conceptual understanding gained from their AS studies. At A2 the focus is on the Government and Politics of the USA.

Unit 3: The Politics of the USA

In this unit the focus will be on the Politics of the USA and will involve the examination of the American electoral process and Direct Democracy, Political Parties, Voting Behaviour and Pressure Groups.

Unit 4: The Government of the USA

In this unit the focus will be on the Government of the USA and will involve the examination of the Constitutional Framework of US Government and the tree branches of the American government - the Executive (the President), the Legislature (Congress) and the Judiciary (Supreme Court).

Entry requirements

A grade C or above in English given the need for extended writing and the analysis of information

Assessment

AS

  • Unit 1 - People and Politics 50% of AS, 25% of A Level Written examination: 1 hour 20 minutes Answer two structured questions from a choice of four
  • Unit 2 - Governing the UK 50% of AS, 25% of A Level Written examination: 1 hour 20 minutes Answer one stimulus question from a choice of two and one extended question from a choice of two.

A2

  • Unit 3 - Representative Processes in the USA 25% of A Level Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes Answer three short-answer questions from a choice of five and one essay question from a choice of three
  • Unit 4 - Governing the USA 25% of A Level Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes Answer three short-answer questions from a choice of five and answer one essay question from a choice of three

Financial information

As part of the course we go on a visit to the Houses of Parliament during Year 12. Every other year run a trip to Washington DC and New York to gain experience of American Government and Society.

Future opportunities

Politics is a very versatile subject that can usefully support any career that involves the ability to interact with society or needs the ability to analyse and make use of a range of detail and information. Particular careers are: Law, Local Government, Research positions, Public Policy, Education, and Politics

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Heanor Gate Science College directly.

Last updated date: 07 September 2016

Key information

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