Politics AS & A Level
Who has political power and why? Why has and does political conflict occur and how is it resolved? Why do people vote as they do and how representative are political systems? Who participates in politics? How are political decisions made? What is the thinking behind the big political ideas?
If you are interested in these questions, then Politics A Level is for you. Understanding politics is the best way to engage with contemporary political debates, understand contemporary political structures and place them within their historical and ideological context. By the end of the course, you will be able to critically examine political arguments to more effectively formulate key arguments and reach your own conclusions.
A minimum of 4 subjects at grade 5 or above at GCSE plus English Language at grade 4 or above. You must have achieved a grade 5 in either English Language, History or Religious Studies.
What will I study?
Government in the United Kingdom
This involves understanding the key processes and debates about the role of the British constitution and Parliament, as well as the Prime Minister and Cabinet. You will explore the role of the Supreme Court, devolution and the EU and the impacts on the nature of British Politics.
Political Participation in the UK
This involves understanding the nature of modern political parties, voting and elections as well as the relationship between democracy and participation.
You will be required to explore the key principles behind a range of modern political philosophies and political thinkers.
You will study global politics, where you will explore a complex world with significant challenges, including global terrorism, poverty, economic instability, weapons proliferation, failing states and environmental degradation. These challenges require global co-operation if they are to be resolved.
The Politics teaching team is comprised of politics specialists. The College arranges a variety of speakers that changes from year to year from political parties, pressure groups and academics.
- Follow the news and read comment and opinion pieces in quality newspapers
- Watch news programmes such as Newsnight, Question Time, Channel 4 News and UK Daily Politics
- Peak Inequality and Rule Britannia, Brexit and the End of Empire by Danny Dorling
- The Shock Doctrine, This Changes Everything or No Logo by Naomi Kein
- The Divide by Jason Hickel
- Theories of International Politics and Zombies by Daniel Drezner
- The Tragedy of Great Power Politics by John Mearsheimer
- WTF by Robert Peston
- People Like Us: Margaret Thatcher and Me by Caroline Slocock
Method of delivery
You will typically be in College four days per week and with in-College delivery supported by online resources, students develop strong independent learning skills to equip them for their next steps.
Politics is delivered via classroom teaching alongside a range of different reading, viewing and listening experiences to ensure that the course remains incredibly current and relevant. Teaching and learning focusses on ensuring that the academic elements are brought to life through the use of contemporary examples, discussion and evaluation of key ideas, processes and institutions.
How will I be assessed?
The course is assessed via examination.
Good course combinations
This course works well with History, Law and any subject that involves debate. It also makes a stimulating fourth subject alongside any combination.
Your next steps
On average over a third of students finishing Politics apply to study politics or international relations at university. Recently students have gone on to a wide range of universities including LSE, Oxford, Bristol, Sheffield, Hull and Nottingham.
Politics students have become involved in a wide range of political activities such as campaigning on behalf of the different political parties and various pressure groups. A job in politics, the civil service, media and publishing, pressure groups, consultancy or education is also achievable.
“I’ve taken Politics because I have a great interest in learning how the government works. I find it enjoyable as we have debates frequently surrounding the topics we learn.”