Politics as an A Level allows pupils to develop an awareness and understanding of the exciting, ever-changing and sometimes confusing world of Politics from both a UK and a US perspective, as well as from an ideological angle. It is a subject that reacts to the very latest developments, and gives pupils the opportunities to interact with some of the big issues facing us today; such as Brexit, the resurgence of divided party ideologies and the rise of big Political personalities such as Trump and Johnson.
Following the Edexcel Politics A Level, in the Lower Sixth, pupils will study the political systems and government of the United Kingdom, enabling a deeper comparison between the two. In the second half of the Lower Sixth we also study three core Political Ideologies (Conservatism, Liberalism and Socialism) and one optional Political ideology, which pupils get some say in choosing but we usually study Feminism.
In the Upper Sixth, pupils will study the political systems of the USA, both in terms of political processes (parties, elections, participation etc) and in terms of the mechanisms of government (the role of the President, the Supreme Court, Congress etc).
A Level Politics will enable pupils to develop a wide range of skills including the ability to comprehend, synthesise and interpret political information; analyse and evaluate political knowledge; identify connections, similarities and differences between the areas studied; select relevant material and construct and communicate arguments clearly and coherently using appropriate political vocabulary.
As a subject this complements the study of History and Economics directly, whilst the skills and topics will also be useful for English and Religious Studies. As such, Politics will be a useful subject for many university and job applications such as Law, Journalism, PPE, Broadcasting and the Civil Service.
Politics has no coursework and is examined with three, two-hour examinations that are equally weighted and arranged as follows:
UK Politics and Core Ideologies
UK Government and Optional Ideologies
USA and Comparative Politics
Given the nature of the subject matter and the examinations attached to this, good essay writing skills will be important. Therefore the minimum of grade 6 in GCSE English is recommended for those contemplating this course.
Examination Board: Edexcel
Mr S. Fish – Head of Politics & History