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Government & Politics AS & A Level at Brine Leas School

Course description

How do we all get what we want when resources are finite? This is a question fundamental to the study of politics and reveals the subject's continuing relevance. 

We don’t always like politicians and the things that governments do... but the business of politics touches every aspect of our lives. And whilst we might criticise governments for some of their policies, it has to be better than having no government at all. Society just wouldn’t function without an elected body to decide, say, what taxes will be levied, how those taxes will be spent on things like health and education or how the country will be defended. But no matter whether government makes you feel angry or reassured, it’s worth having knowledge of how the whole process of an elected government works.

Course content

During the first year of Government & Politics you'll study two main themes. 'People, Politics and Participation' introduces issures like how is voting behaviour changing in elections? And how do politicians and their parties convince voters to vote for them? ‘Governing Modern Britain’ covers issues such as, what is Parliament's role in the UK political system? And do we have a prime ministerial government in the UK which affords one individual too much power? The second year of the course focuses on the fascinating subject of American politics. Two topics will once again be studied, ‘The politics of the USA’ and ‘The Government of the USA’. Both provide an in depth insight into the operation of American government and society, seeking to broaden the horizons of students further and suitably complementing their study of UK politics by having an international dimension.

Each year you’ll have two written papers to complete on the themes which you have studied. Each paper lasts for 90 minutes and contributes to 50% of your marks for that year. At the end of the first year your pass will be recognised with an AS level, and at the end of year two the full A Level.

Knowledge is power and this popular A Level gives you the knowledge to understand how government works and how difficult choices are reached, particularly in the UK and the USA, but also throughout the world. If you want to understand how important decisions that affect everyone’s lives are made and be able to make a difference to society, this course is a valuable first step.

Government and Politics helps develop a number of new skills:

  • Undertaking research and analysis and thinking critically about the world in which we live.
  • A deeper understanding of governments and the decisions they make on our behalf.
  • Finding out about a career in politics and the other pathways that it allows one to pursue.

Entry requirements

It is preferable that students have achieved a Grade B or above at GCSE Level English Language or History. Students must also be willing to read widely, have an interest in current affairs and be willing to engage in reasoned debate and argument.


Unit 1: People & Politics 

  • 50% of AS
  • Short answer questions, stimulus response, extended writing and essays

Unit 2: Governing the UK

  • 50% of AS
  • Short answer questions, stimulus response, extended writing and essays

Unit 3: The Politics of the USA

  • 25% of A’ Level
  • Extended writing and essay questions

Unit 4: The Government of the USA

  • 25% of A’ Level
  • Extended writing and essay questions

Future opportunities

Many students who have taken the A Level in Government and Politics go on to study Politics at university. From there you might become a researcher, join local or national government or even start on the path to become a future Prime Minister! But there are other job options too. If you fancy a career in journalism or the media, this course is very useful. Students also go on to become teachers or work in the legal profession. Indeed, students will learn to harness the ‘soft’ skills that are so important to any employer, such as communication and an attention to detail.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Brine Leas School directly.

Last updated date: 04 October 2016

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