Government and Politics

Our aim in Government and Politics is to provide an insight into political beliefs central to an understanding of the modern world. Evaluative and analytical skills will be established in relation to the ever changing, tense political climate. This course allows you to study contemporary politics and develop a strong understanding of the factors shaping both the British and American systems.

This subject also helps in the development of focused and formal debating skills as well as encouraging students to think beyond the constraints of the classroom. Politics is not static, but a constantly evolving subject with new and exciting discussions happening every day.


Facilities

  • Specialist teaching classrooms
  • A wide range of reading material
  • Back issues of Politics review

A level Government and Politics

Course details

The A level Government and Politics syllabus examines how modern Britain is governed and how states and organisations interact on a global scale to tackle problems. If you are interested in the world around you, how decisions are made, and ‘who gets what and when’, then Politics is for you.  With the new focus on bringing History, Philosophy and Politics together, there will be chances to build on previous knowledge learnt in other subjects.

You will:

  • Learn how to develop a critical awareness of the nature of politics and the relationship between political ideas, institutions and processes.
  • Understand what the structures of authority and power are within the political system of the UK and how these might differ from those of other political systems.
  • Acquire knowledge and informed understanding of the rights and responsibilities of the individual.
  • Come to foster an interest in, and engagement with, contemporary politics.

Year One Course Outline

  • Contemporary Politics of the UK: Exploring political parties, pressure groups, electoral systems and the role of voting behaviour and the media in determining the outcomes of elections.
  • Contemporary Government of the UK: Exploring the Constitution, prime ministers, parliament, the Supreme Court and the changing nature of the UK’s relationship with the EU.
  • Core Political Ideologies: Exploring the nature, development and ideas of Socialism, Liberalism and Conservatism

Year Two Course Outline

Global Politics: Exploring the different international bodies that are responsible for making decisions on a global scale and responding to crises. This includes global governance of politics, economics, humanitarian crises and the environment. The course also covers regionalism and the EU as well as recent developments in who holds power.

Non-core Political Ideologies: Exploring the ideas, developments and nature of Nationalism

Link to course specification

Assessment

At AS assessment of this course consists of two 1h45 min papers, one each of UK Politics and UK Government.

At A-Level assessment of this course consists of three 2h papers: one on UK Politics and core political ideologies; one on UK Government and non-core political ideologies; and one on Global Politics

Enrichment opportunities

The Politics department has a vibrant and contemporary edge with numerous opportunities to learn about Government and Politics outside of the classroom setting. These include workshops in the Houses of Parliament, visiting speakers from the House of Lords, academics, and residential trips such as the recent visit to New York & Washington. Students have also had the chance to participate in Politics at a local level with meetings with local councillors. A testimony to the enjoyment of the students is that over half of those currently in their A2 studies have decided to study Politics at University. An interest in current affairs and a willingness to work hard outside of lessons is vital to successful examination success.

Student quotes

“Government and Politics is not only interesting but also widely applicable to the real world. If you want a subject that is as fun as it is compelling, this is for you” – Jack, Year 12

 “The classroom debates prove to be a great environment for educated discussion. This, paired with the unique and skilled teaching style, makes this my favourite subject” 

Progression

Students with A level Government and Politics have access to a wide range of possible career and higher education opportunities. Government and Politics combines well with a range of Social Sciences and Humanities subjects to lead to university courses in areas such as business, economics, law, media, philosophy and, of course, politics. Students who choose not to go on to higher studies will have well-developed transferable skills that will allow them to explore a wide variety of employment opportunities.

Useful Links