Accessibility links

A Level Government and Politics at The John of Gaunt School

Course description

During the AS year, we will be focusing on UK politics. This will involve examining how government communicates with the people and how we in the UK ensure representative democracy and participation in that democracy. We will be discussing topical issues as they arise, for example the referendum on Scottish independence or House of Lords reform. We will examine the nature of democracy both as a political ideology and a UK practicality. By the end of your AS year you will understand how the UK is governed and why it is governed that way, as well as considering options for improving that governance.

The second year (A2) will focus on politics in the USA – allowing you to compare the two systems and highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each. We will look at the success (or otherwise) of the USA in terms of popular participation in democracy, we will examine the framework of US government and we will evaluate the benefits and disadvantages of a federalist state. By the end of A2 you will have a good understanding of a very different democratic systems, you will be able to evaluate and compare both systems and will have an improved understanding of how governments around the world work.

Everyone should study politics – all members of society should have a better understanding of the general rules under which we live. For these rules to be effective, as many people as possible should actively participate in making them, upholding them and maybe changing them – we all have the potential power to do this, but few understand how.

Certain students will undoubtedly find politics more exciting than others. If you enjoy debating, discussion and argument then this subject could be for you.

Course content

General topics to be covered over the AS course include:

Unit 1 and Unit 2

  • Examination of the key channels of communication between government and the people.
  • Current arrangements for ensuring representative democracy and participation.
  • The nature of democracy as a political ideology and a UK practicality
  • Reforms that could widen or enhance the democratic system.

    General topics to be covered over the A2 course include:


  • Unit 3 and 4

    • How the US system fares in terms of popular participation in democracy.
    • Examination of the framework of US government
    • Evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of a federalist state.


AS Level and A Level – Edexcel

You will be assessed in all four units via terminal examinations in the summer of your AS year and again in the summer of your A2 year.

Future opportunities

An A Level in Government & Politics will enable you to study a whole variety of degree subjects at university, ranging from Journalism or Politics through to Philosophy or International Relations – it is a great A level to support your application to any of the Arts subjects and provides an interesting contrast if you choose to study the Sciences.

Outside academia, an understanding of Government & Politics will give you the tools and skills to change the world around you, whether petitioning your local council or taking part in a national campaign.

By choosing A level Government & Politics, you are opening many professional opportunities for yourself in terms of career progression, variety and skills development.


How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The John of Gaunt School directly.

Last updated date: 05 June 2015

Key information