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Government & Politics A Level at The Downs School

Course description

As a whole, the course aims to provide students with an understanding of UK and American politics. AS/A2 Politics aims to develop students‟ political knowledge and their ability to analyse political institutions, issues and proposals for reform. Politics is now an established subject at The Downs School and is one that students have really enjoyed.

Students have also achieved outstanding examination results and Downs School students have gone on to read Politics/ PPE/ International Relations at Oxford, UCL, KCL, Durham, Nottingham, Warwick, Sussex and York Universities.

Course content

At Advanced Subsidiary Level, two UK politics modules will be covered: UK Government and Politics

• Module 1 – “People, Politics and Participation”. Focus on participation and voting behaviour, elections and electoral systems, political parties, pressure groups and protest movements.

• Module 2 – “Governing Modern Britain”. Focus on the UK Constitution, role of Parliament, power within the executive and the different levels of government within the UK. These will be examined in the summer and count towards 50% of the A Level. These examinations can be re-taken the following summer, with resits counting towards the final grade.

At Advanced Level, two further modules will be covered focusing on American politics. USA Government and Politics:

• Module 4 – “Government of the USA”. Focus on the US Constitution, Supreme Court, Congress, the Presidency and the idea of Federalism.

• Module 5 - “Politics of the USA”. Focus on elections, political parties, pressure groups, radical/ ethnic politics and voter behaviour.

Entry requirements

Due to the nature of this course a GRADE B is required in GCSE English or History.



Future opportunities

Politics is a very well regarded A Level option for the following university courses and careers: Journalism, History, International Relations, War Studies, Law, PPE, Banking, Finance and Economics, Business Studies, European Studies, any Social Studies course or job, Philosophy, Public Administration and of course, Politics itself.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 26 June 2015

Key information

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