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Politics A Level EDEXCEL at Grey Court School

Course description

Studying Politics A Level will provide a greater insight into political beliefs central to an understanding of the modern world. If you are fascinated by the way decisions are made, who makes them and the thinking behind them, then this subject will interest you. Decisions are constantly being made which will affect you and society at large – here is the chance to learn about them properly.

This A-level will probably be unlike any other subjects you have studied so far. In this class, the emphasis will be on debate, discussion and argument. Some say politics exists because people disagree and if this is the case, studying politics is to study how, why and when people disagree. Such studying does not happen in the traditional way and rather than simply accepting facts and opinions, in this class you will be encouraged to develop and defend your own.

This course will particularly appeal to those students who:

  • enjoy debating current affairs and politics

  • have a keen appreciation of the need to participate in the decision making process

  • like doing a subject that affects their everyday lives

  • like doing a subject that offers the opportunity to progress to a career in politics

  • want to keep their options open – Politics can be a useful choice for a wide range of careers and can be combined with a wide range of social sciences and humanities subjects.

What will I learn on this course?

  • How to develop a critical awareness of the nature of politics and the relationship between political ideas, institutions and processes;

  • What are the structures of authority and power within the political system of the UK and how these may differ from those of other political systems.

  • Acquire knowledge and informed understanding of the rights and responsibilities of the individual.

  • Foster an interest in, and engagement with, contemporary politics.

Course content

Component 1 – UK Politics and Core Political Ideas

  •  Democracy and political participation

  •  Electoral systems

  •  UK Political Parties

  • Voting behavior and the Media

  • Conservatism

  • Liberalism

  • Socialism

Component 2 – UK Government and Non-Core Political Ideas

  •  The Constitution

  •  The Prime Minister and Executive

  • Parliament

  • Relations between the branches

  • Feminism

Component 3 – Comparative Politics – Government and Politics of the USA

  • US Constitution and Federalism

  • US Congress

  • US Presidency

  • US Supreme Court and Civil Rights

  • US Democracy and Participation

  • Comparative theories and approaches

 

Entry requirements

 5 GCSEs at grade 9-4

 6 in History or English

Assessment

Exam 1 – UK Politics and Core Political Ideas
2 hour exam 33.3% of your qualification, 84 marks
Section A – Political Participation
1x 30 mark question from a choice of 2 (you will have a source)
1x 30 mark question from a choice of 2 (no source)

Section B – Core Political Ideas (Conservatism, Liberalism, Socialism)
1x 24 mark question from a choice of 2

Exam 2 – UK Government
2 hour exam, 33.3% of your qualification, 84 marks
Section A – UK Government
1x 30 mark question from a choice of 2 (you will have a source)
1x 30 mark question from a choice of 2 (no source)
Section B – Non-core Political Ideas (Feminism)
1x 24 mark question from a choice of 2

Exam 3 – Comparative Politics (USA)
2 hour exam, 33.3% of your qualification, 84 marks
Section A 1x 12 mark question from a choice of 2
Section B 1x compulsory 12 mark question, focussed on comparison theories (comparing UK and US Politics)
Section C 2 x 30 mark questions from a choice of 3

Future opportunities

Students with A Leveland Politics have access to a wide range of possible career and higher education opportunities. You learn and use a variety of transferable skills throughout the course. These include collecting and analysing information and evaluating different political ideas and systems. Your written communication skills will develop greatly as will your ability to question information given to you. These skills are in great demand and are recognised by employers, universities and colleges as being of great value.

Politics combines well with a range of social sciences and humanities subjects to lead to university courses in such areas as business, economics, law, media, philosophy and, of course, politics.

Students who choose not to go on to higher studies will have well-developed transferable skills that will allow them to explore a wide variety of employment opportunities.

 

Enrichment opportunities: A variety of trips and guest speakers from Parliament will supplement our A-Level course. A favourite is our yearly trip to Westminster, which includes a tour of the party headquarters and Parliament, and workshop led by the Parliamentary Education Team. Our student-led Politics Society regularly organizes political activities, and gives students from across the school the opportunity to access the political world.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 28 September 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years
  • Course code: Government & Politics A Level

Contact details

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