From Brexit and coronavirus to war in Ukraine and a cost of living crisis, political issues have been dominating the news recently. If you want to understand how and why things change, as well as deepen your understanding of current affairs, then this course is for you.  You will study the processes that decide the laws we all have to follow and how decisions over tax and spending are decided.

There are 3 main elements to the A-level.  In the first you will look at the UK and how decisions are made here, with a visit to the Houses of Parliament to see the place which makes the country’s laws.  The second will focus on political theory and the different ideas of conservatism, socialism and liberalism.  The final section will look at the USA and how decisions are made there, with a focus on comparing the USA system to that of the UK.

The ideal politics student is someone with an interest in current affairs and who is keen to understand more about the way things work.  Politics is an essay based subject so the ability to organise workload is important.  Students will be expected to follow the political news to find examples and then to relate these to the core concepts in the course.

Content and Assessment (Exam Board – Edexcel)

Component 1 – UK Politics – 2 hour paper 33.3% of A-level
1. Political Participation – Students will study:

  • Democracy and Participation
  • Political Parties
  • Electoral Systems
  • Voting behaviour and the Media


2. Core Political Ideas – Students will study:

  • Conservatism
  • Liberalism
  • Socialism

Component 2- UK Government 
– 2 hour paper 33.3% of A-level

1. UK Government – Students will study:

  • The Constitution
  • Parliament
  • Prime Minister and Executive
  • Relationships between the branches

2. Optional Political Ideas – Students will study one idea from the following:

  • Anarchism
  • Ecologism
  • Feminism
  • Multiculturalism
  • Nationalism

Component 3 – Comparative Politics (USA 3A)
 – 2 hour paper 33.3% of A-level

Students will study:

  • The US Constitution and Federalism
  • US Congress
  • US Presidency
  • US Supreme Court
  • Democracy and Participation
  • Civil Rights.

Entry Requirements:

7 Higher Grades:

  • Grade 5 (or above) for English
  • Grade 4 (or above) for Maths
  • Grade 4 (or above) for other GCSE subjects
  • 1 BTEC (or equivalent) at Merit or above may be included within the 7 grades

Further Information

Tom Watkins
Subject Lead for Politics/Psychology/Sociology
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