Government and Politics

A-Level Board/code


What do we cover in the course?

Key syllabus elements

On the AS course we study the Government and Politics of the UK including elections & electoral systems, referendums and voting factors, political parties, pressure groups, the UK Constitution, devolution, Parliament, the role and powers of the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the EU.

On the A2 course we study Global Politics which involves the institutions of global governance, theories of global politics, distinguishing superpowers from powers, EU and regionalism. Additionally issues such as terrorism, human rights, the environment and development are investigated in the global politics context.

How is it assessed?

Key assessment elements

There are 2 written exams of 80 minutes each for the AS.

There are 2 written exams of 90 minutes each for the A2.

Assessment is based on accurate description and knowledge, analysis and evaluation and quality of written communication.

Key skills required

There is an emphasis on literacy-both in a general sense but also in terms of political awareness-to understand some of the different policies of the major political parties. So reading in particular is paramount and we will try to help you develop and improve your reading skills throughout the year. As it an exam based subject, which requires students to write essays, possessing good writing and fluency skills is a distinct advantage. You will also have the opportunity to engage in individual and group research, team presentations and of course, class debates and discussions.

What entry requirements are there to study this course?

In terms of academic background GCSE’s or equivalent in History, Citizenship or another humanity subject are advantageous.

Of course it helps to have an interest or even to be politically active but if you aren’t don’t worry too much. However to a great extent studying this subject is a process and students are expected to try to develop an interest in current affairs, watch news programmes, read quality newspapers, etc. You should find in any case that the knowledge you acquire in class and through your own work will assist you in understanding news developments. There are political stories breaking on a daily basis so watch the media closely.

What is the course useful for?

Government and Politics is appropriate for a wide range of degree courses at university level. In particular, Law, International Relations and History are subjects where students have benefited considerably from skills learnt on this course. Of course a number have gone on to complete degrees in politics too!  In terms of careers studying Government and Politics can lead to opportunities in the law, civil service, local government, journalism or even politics directly.

Any other information

Most of the teaching takes place in the classroom but we may go on the occasional trip or have guest speakers!!