Politics (A Level)
Why should I study A Level Politics?
This is a very exciting time to study both British and International politics. There has been considerable turbulence in British politics after the Brexit Referendum in 2016, the general elections of 2017 and 2020, and the debates surrounding Brexit. Likewise, in international relations, there is a new US President, China is increasing its power, Russia is seeking to play more of a global role and there are significant global challenges like climate change, growing protection in trade and inequalities in income and wealth. The course is entirely relevant in an ever-changing world. You will be inspired to engage in lively and informed debate. If you are intrigued, excited or worried about the changes that are happening in the world today, this is the course for you.
The Politics specification covers UK government and politics, political ideas and comparative global politics. Politics is a well-established and well-respected A Level, which develops literacy, critical thinking, analysis and research skills. It goes well with History, Economics, Sociology, Psychology and Law, but other subjects as well. Studying A Level Politics shows that you care about the world you live in, and you will develop knowledge and understanding of the role politics plays current local, national and global issues.
The politics staff at the College are predominantly subject specialists with many years of combined politics teaching experience. Staff are experienced classroom teachers and have contributed to textbooks, published resources and have examining experience.
Politics lends itself to trips. There is an annual trip to Parliament in the first year of study and there will be a trip abroad to deepen understanding of international issues. In the past, this trip has been to Brussels.
We have very good links with higher education institutes and members of staff who support students with their university applications.
Throughout your course, the departmental staff will fully support you both in and outside the classroom. You will find us an approachable and friendly group of people.
The first year of the course consists of two components:
UK Politics – Students will study:
- Democracy and Participation.
- Political Parties.
- Electoral Systems.
- Voting Behaviour and the Media.
UK Government – Students will study:
- The Constitution.
- Prime Minister and Executive.
- Relationships between Institutions.
- Core Political Ideas – Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism.
Progression onto Year 2
Progression to the second year of this A Level course will be dependent on having made satisfactory progress in the first year of the course, including achieving at least an E grade in a formal late spring assessment, as well as the maintenance of a good level of attendance and commitment throughout the year.
After successful completion of the first year students will study 2 components:
Optional Non-core Political Ideas - Nationalism.
Comparative Politics - Global politics, theories of global politics, sovereignty and globalisation, global governance: political and judicial, global governance: economic and environmental, power and developments, regionalism and the European Union.
Minimum Entry Criteria
Standard College entry requirements (as detailed on page 12 of the Prospectus) and a minimum of:
GCSE English Language or English Literature
In at least one other predominantly written based GCSE subject (from English Language, English Literature, History, Religious Studies or Sociology)
Final Assessment at end of Year 2
The Politics A Level is all exam based. There is no coursework.
There are three written examination papers taken at the end of the second year. Each component is examined separately in a 2 hour examination consisting of short questions and essays.
What can I do after studying A Level Politics?
A qualification in Politics is valuable to anyone aiming to enter higher education, whatever the course for which they apply. It is also very useful for those interested in a career in journalism and the media, marketing, law, public relations or the civil service.
Students will be encouraged to read around the subject and take an active interest in Politics. To be successful you will need to enjoy reading and have sound written skills. The department has well developed support materials which are available through the College’s virtual learning environment system (Moodle).