A Level Government and Politics
Why Study This Subject?
Politics is a subject that tries to explain the society in which we live. It is not an abstract academic discipline, remote from everyday life. It is relevant to almost every aspect of the world around us. Politicians are responsible for the public services we use and how they are organized and funded. The decisions that affect our schools and colleges, our health service, transport network and armed forces are all political decisions. Our rights and responsibilities as citizens – the power of the state over us and our ability to choose and influence those in authority – also form part of politics.
- How fair and representative is our voting system?
- How do people organize themselves to put pressure on the government?
- How powerful is Parliament?
- What are the main differences between the political parties and where do their ideas come from?
- How successful has international cooperation been in tackling issues like climate change, human rights and global poverty?
If you are interested in these and similar questions, then this is the subject for you. There will be a chance for you to express and argue your own political views, but you should also be aware that these views will be challenged and you will have to learn about, and sometimes argue for, views with which you may disagree.
Politics is a rigorous and long-established A Level, which is accepted by both universities and employers. Past students have gone on to study at Oxford and Cambridge, as well as a wide range of other universities. Many choose to continue studying Politics or related courses such as International Relations or Global Politics, or combine it with subjects like History, English, Philosophy, Sociology or Economics. Politics fits in well with many other A Level subjects and is used for entry to a wide range of degree courses. Former students have gone on to work for MPs and members of the House of Lords, the civil service, ‘think-tanks’ and research groups, in teaching, business and banking.
Topics you will cover
Component 1: UK Politics
1. Political Participation
- Democracy and participation
- Political Parties
- Electoral systems
- Voting behavior and the media
2. Core Political Ideas
Component 2: UK Government
1. UK Government
- The constitution
- Prime Minister and executive
- Relationship between the branches of government
2. Non-core Political Ideas – one of the following:
Component 3: Comparative Politics
- The state, sovereignty and globalisation
- The role of the United Nations and other international organisations
- Global financial institutions
- Human rights and environmental issues
- Developments on global politics, such as challenges to US power and increased role of China
- Regionalism, including the European Union
- Theories of Global Politics
Other than the College’s general entry requirements there are no additional qualifications needed to study Government and Politics.