Politics is everywhere, in the language we use, in the institutions we use, the places we go and the conversations we have. Understanding politics is vital to considering the way society and the world works.
Exam Board: Edexcel
To study Politics successfully students will need an active interest in politics in the EU, the UK and also an interest in the government of the USA.
Paper One: UK Politics
In this topic students will study Democracy and Participation, Electoral Systems and their outcomes, Voting Behaviour and the Media. Students will know how contemporary issues affect politics, ranging from debates surrounding voting age, the role and methods of pressure groups such as Insulate Britain and how citizens can participate in democracy beyond voting. Students will evaluate how democratic the UK truly is. There is also a focus on Core Political Ideologies including liberalism, conservatism and socialism. Students will examine the work of political thinkers, and analyse the impact on society and the political system.
Paper Two: UK Government
In this topic students study the Constitution, Parliament, the Prime Minister and Executive, and Relationships between Government Branches. Students will know how laws in the UK are passed, the powers of the Prime Minister and relationship between parliament and the devolved bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Students will evaluate how democratic the UK truly is. There is also a focus on nationalism. Students will examine the work of political thinkers, and analyse the impact on society and the political system, but also the rise in identity politics and debates around national identity.
Paper Three: US Politics
In Year 13 the focus switches to US politics. The component is a comparative topic, requiring students to compare and contrast the American political system to the UK. Students study the Constitution, Congress, President, Supreme Court, and other avenues of democracy in the USA to determine whether there really is rights protection for all. Students will know the role of the constitution in US politics, the relationship between the states and federal government and how checks and balances work in the system but also debates around contemporary issues around gun laws, women’s rights and minority rights.
Politics offers exciting extracurricular opportunities such as trips to Parliament and the Supreme Court in the UK, speakers from the House of Lords and Commons, as well as speakers Government Departmental bodies to offer insight into the working world of politics.
Three written papers. Each is two hours long with a choice of questions.
A grade 6 or above in English.
Progression routes and careers:
A Level Politics is a qualification highly prized in many careers, not just for the knowledge gained, but also for the skills of analysis and argument which are developed. Areas which place a particular emphasis on qualifications in Politics are law, the civil service, local and national government, teaching, journalism, communications, advertising and public relations.