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Government and Politics AS/A Level at Prendergast - Hilly Fields College

Course description

Ever wondered why politicians do the things they do, why governments choose to do something rather than the right thing, why the same ideas keep coming back again and again regardless of which party is in power? If you have, then Politics is for you at A-Level. Politics will give you a deeper understanding of why we are governed in the way we are, how structures have evolved, how ideas become laws and what you can do to change them. It is the most obvious A-Level choice for anyone wanting to study International Relations at University. It also dovetails nicely with History A-Level and has many shared elements with both Sociology and Geography.

Politics will help you to:-

•develop knowledge and an informed understanding of contemporary political structures and issues in their historical context, both within the United Kingdom (UK) and globally

•develop a critical awareness of the changing nature of politics and the relationships between political ideas, institutions and processes

•develop knowledge and an informed understanding of the influences and interests which have an impact on decisions in government and politics

•develop knowledge and an informed understanding of the rights and responsibilities of individuals and groups

•develop the ability to critically analyse, interpret and evaluate political information to form arguments and make judgements •develop an interest in, and engagement with, contemporary politics.

Course content

Global Politics - We live in a complex world with significant challenges including global terrorism, poverty, economic instability, weapons proliferation, failing states and environmental degradation. These challenges require global cooperation if they are to be resolved. Global politics gives you the opportunity to develop an understanding of the local, national, international and global dimensions of political activity. It will also give you the opportunity to explore the political issues that affect all of us. You will gain understanding of abstract political concepts by exploring contemporary real-world examples and case studies that will develop an international awareness and knowledge of multiple perspectives. Global politics encourages discussion and debate and will require you to study and present different global perspectives as well as interpreting competing and contestable claims. We will examine these through the key mainstream perspectives on global politics of liberalism and realism.

UK Politics and Core Political Ideas - You will investigate how people and politics interact. You will explore the emergence and development of the UK’s democratic system and direct and indirect democracy. You will focus on the role and scope of political parties that are central to contemporary politics, including the significance of manifestos and their relevance to the mandate of the government. You will understand the individual in the political process and their relationship with the state and their fellow citizens. You will examine how electoral systems in the UK operate and how individuals and groups are influenced in their voting behaviour. WE will also look the role of the media in contemporary politics. You will explore the three traditional political ideas of conservatism, liberalism and socialism, their core ideas and principles and how they apply in practice.

UK Government and Optional Political Ideas - This unit will give you a base of comparison to other political systems. You’ll be introduced to the set of rules governing politics in the UK, the UK constitution, which is different in nature from most of the rest of the world. You will examine the specific roles and powers of the different major branches of the government – legislative, executive, and judiciary – as well as the relationships and balance of power between them. You will explore the following key themes: the relative powers of the different branches of UK government; the extent to which the constitution has changed in recent years; the desirability of further change; and the current location of sovereignty within the UK political system. You will also learn about the core ideas and principles of Multiculturalism.

Entry requirements

B grade equivalent in History if taken, or a relevant Humanity and a grade B eqivalent in English Language.


In Politics you will study:-

Global Politics Exam 2 hours

UK Politics and Core Political Ideas Exam 2 Hours

UK Government and Optional Political Ideas Exam 2 Hours


How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Prendergast - Hilly Fields College directly.

Last updated date: 27 October 2017
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