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Government and Politics A Level at St Michael's Catholic Grammar School

Course description

Why study Government and Politics A – Level?

  • Learn about the movements that are transforming the world around us, and discover the committees and parties who hold control.
  • Discover the importance of election, the limits that constrict Parliament and the prime minister.
  • Learn about key ideologies that shape political movements and parties.
  • Learn about alternative ideologies such as Feminism and Ecologism.

What skills are you going to acquire?

  • Develop critical thinking skills and the ability to interpret, evaluate and comment
  • Develop a critical awareness of the nature of politics and the relationship between political ideas, institutions and processes
  • Acquire knowledge and understanding of the structures of authority and power within the political system of the United Kingdom, and how these may differ from those of other political systems
  • Acquire knowledge and informed understanding of the rights and responsibilities of the individual
  • Develop an interest in and engagement with contemporary politics

Course content

The Politics Department teaches the Edexcel examining board syllabus in Government and Politics. The AS course gives a good grounding in the fundamentals of British Politics.

The AS course consists of two modules.

  • Unit 1 is titled ‘People and Politics’ and is a study of Democracy and Participation; Political Parties and Ideas; Elections and Pressure Groups.
  • Unit 2 is a called ‘Governing the UK’. Topic areas covered in this unit include a study of the UK Constitution, Parliament, the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the judges and civil liberties.

If students wish to proceed to A2 level, they will again study two modules where the concept of synopticity comes into play.

  • Unit 3 is a study of four important ideologies: Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism and Anarchism. The synoptic element involves identifying the conflict between and inside ideologies.
  • Unit 4 is a study of alternative ideologies of Feminism, Nationalism, Ecologism and multiculturalism. Synopticity also is assessed in this unit. Candidates are requested to identify conflicts within the ideologies and recognise criticisms.

Entry requirements

No prior knowledge of politics is expected.  That said, a genuine interest in the conduct and outcome of elections and the nature of the political process in Britain is vital.   A willingness to read a quality newspaper each day, subscribe to a periodical, like the Economist and watch the news daily are essential practices for success in Politics AS and A2 Level.

Students are required to pass AS level Politics at Grade C or better in order to proceed to A2 level study.


Unit 1 is examined in the January and Unit 2 in the summer of Year 12. Both examinations are 1hour 20 minutes long and there is no coursework.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Michael's Catholic Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 22 March 2017
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