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Government and Politics AS and A level at The Emmbrook School

Course description

Politics impacts upon all of our lives in many ways whether we are aware of it or not. As such Government and Politics allows us to understand and analyse the ways in which our society is governed, who makes decisions on our behalf, how we can influence these decisions and the processes that govern our society. The subject is compatible with many others offered in 6th form as it provides a unique perspective on the world around us.

Course content


The first year of the course introduces central ideas of politics: democracy and participation, and examines them in the context of the political process within the UK.

Unit 1 People and Politics – What is politics? Why are political participation and democracy important? An understanding of the role of political participation in preserving the rights and freedoms of the individual. A knowledge of the main features of the British representative system: political parties, elections, pressure groups. How Democratic is the UK? Do elections guarantee democracy? What is the role of political parties? How important are pressure groups?

Unit 2 Governing the UK – This unit provides an introduction to the major institutions of UK government examines their relationship and considers their effectiveness. Is the UK constitution adequate? What is the role and the significance of Parliament? How powerful is the Prime Minister? Do judges deliver justice and defend freedom? What are the Civil liberties? Both units are assessed by a written examination in June of 1 hour and 20 minutes each.


Unit 3 Representation in the USA - This unit examines the representative processes of the US political system. We study how Americans elect their President and evaluate the adequacy of this process, by exploring the role of caucuses, primaries, the National Party Conventions and the Electoral College. The ideologies of the major political parties are considered, as well as the distribution of power within those parties and the role of political parties within the US system. Students investigate the range of Pressure Groups which operate in the USA and consider their impact on democracy. Finally, the key issue of racial diversity and its role in American politics is also examined.

Unit 4 - Governing the USA - Students investigate the three main branches of US government. They begin by studying the US Constitution and the fundamental principle of Separation of Powers. Then they study the work of Congress and consider how effectively it performs its role. The power of the US President is carefully assessed. They also study the Supreme Court and evaluate its significance in the political process. The relationship between the federal and state governments is also examined in this unit.

Entry requirements

5 A*-C GCSE grades (grade C in English Lang is a minimum requirement).

Financial information

Textbook, this will cost approximately £20.

Future opportunities

The study of Government and Politics, therefore, is very useful to those wishing to continue into higher education. It can also furnish students with skills required in the world of work and aid those who wish to pursue employment in many careers including law, journalism; in fact any career which requires evaluation of information, ordered thinking and the ability to express oneself coherently and convincingly.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 01 September 2016

Key information

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