Politics

 

POLITICS
 
 
 
 
Introduction
Do you want to become Prime Minister? If you do, you need to know something about Politics and how the system works. Did you watch the TV debates during the election campaign? What do you think about the ‘Coalition’ government? Why has Barack Obama increased interest in American politics? The course introduces students to the politics of the United Kingdom and the United States and compares the two systems of government. At AS Level, we examine UK politics and consider the case for reform. At A2 Level, we study the American system of government and the issues affecting American citizens today.
 
Entry requirements
It is not necessary to have taken any particular GCSE subjects, however, written communication skills are important and at least a C grade at GCSE English is essential.
 
Course aims
The course aims to give students an introduction to a wide range of aspects of government and politics and to provide a sound basis for students to continue studying the subject at a higher level.  The course allows students to see how the theory regarding government and politics is put into practice in the real world.  Students are encouraged to take an interest in the news and current affairs, in order to gain an appreciation of what is happening in the world.
 
Course content
The AS Level course examines UK government and politics.  How do people participate in the political process?  How democratic is the UK today?  Is the voting system unfair to third parties?  To answer all these questions we study elections, political parties, pressure groups, the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Parliament, Judges and the Constitution.
 
The A2 course studies the American political system.  We look at elections, political parties and pressure groups.  Why did Barack Obama win the 2008 presidential election?  What are the powers of the President?  What is Congress?  Why is the Supreme Court so important in American politics?  Which party will win the 2010 mid-term Congressional elections?
 
Assessment
AS and A2 level are assessed by written examinations.  At AS level there are two 1 hour 20 minutes exams for Units 1 and 2. The questions are structured and there is a choice e.g. 2 from 4. For A2 there are two longer papers for Units 3 and 4 (1 hour 30 minutes each). Students are required to answer three short questions from a choice of five and one essay question from a choice of three in each paper.  
 
Progression
The course provides a firm foundation for university studies in Government and Politics and is relevant for studying Law, History and Economics.  A good Politics degree can lead to careers in Law, Government, Journalism and Teaching.  You could even become Prime Minister!   
 
Exam Board
Edexcel
 
Contact Name
For further information please contact Mr Boland – Head of Politics.