Politics A-level

Health, Public Services and Care

Health, Public Services and Care
Health, Public Services and Care
We are only accepting one application per candidate.

What will you be working towards?

Code POLITICALEV
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3

Overview

With an incredible series of unexpected and unpredictable events at home and abroad in recent years, the study of Politics has never been more relevant or more fascinating and it’s a great subject for those with enquiring minds and a desire to find out just what is going on in the world today and why. This is a two year course and offers you the chance to explore a number of issues covering a broad spectrum of political themes.

UK Politics and UK Government: You will study and discuss such questions as ‘What is Brexit all about and why is it happening?’, ‘What power does the Prime Minister have?’, ‘Why was the result of the 2017 General Election such a surprise?’, and ‘Is Britain truly democratic?’ 

Political Ideas: You will examine some of the great ideas that have shaped our world for good or ill, including Liberalism, Socialism, and Conservatism; and at the work and influence of key political thinkers such as Karl Marx, Mary Wollstonecraft and Edmund Burke.

US Politics: Find out the answers to questions like ‘How did Donald Trump become President?’, ‘Why is it so easy to have a gun in the USA?’, and ‘Why is race such a big issue in America?’ You will also have the opportunity to compare and contrast US and UK politics.

What sort of work is involved?

A level Politics involves a lot of discussion, so is ideal for those who enjoy talking and thinking about current affairs. You will also need to keep up-to-date with what is happening in the world via the internet, newspapers and TV programmes, and will need to engage in independent learning to increase your knowledge of politics past and present.

There is no coursework but the final exams for Politics are heavily essay based and you will get a lot of practice in researching and writing answers to sample exam questions.

Details

UK Politics and UK Government: You will study and discuss such questions as ‘What is Brexit all about and why is it happening?’, ‘What power does the Prime Minister have?’, ‘Why was the result of the 2017 General Election such a surprise?’, and ‘Is Britain truly democratic?’

Political Ideas: You will examine some of the great ideas that have shaped our world for good or ill, including Liberalism, Socialism, and Conservatism; and at the work and influence of key political thinkers such as Karl Marx, Mary Wollstonecraft and Edmund Burke. 

US Politics: Find out the answers to questions like ‘How did Donald Trump become President?’, ‘Why is it so easy to have a gun in the USA?’, and ‘Why is race such a big issue in America?’ You will also have the opportunity to compare and contrast US and UK politics. 

What sort of work is involved?

A level Politics involves a lot of discussion, so is ideal for those who enjoy talking and thinking about current affairs. You will also need to keep up-to-date with what is happening in the world via the internet, newspapers and TV programmes, and will need to engage in independent learning to increase your knowledge of politics past and present.

There is no coursework but the final exams for Politics are heavily essay based and you will get a lot of practice in researching and writing answers to sample exam questions.

How will it be delivered?

The Politics A-level is assessed at the end of the course through three exams.

Paper 1: UK Politics and Core Political Ideas: This paper lasts two hours and requires you to answer two 30 mark essay questions on UK Politics topics including Democracy and Participation, Political Parties, Electoral Systems, and Voting Behaviour. You will also answer a 24 mark short essay question on either Liberalism, Conservatism or Socialism.

Paper 2: UK Government and Non-core Political Ideas: This paper lasts two hours and requires you to answer two 30 mark essay questions on UK Government topics including the Constitution, Parliament, the Prime Minister, and Relations between Political Institutions. You will also answer a 24 mark short essay question on either Anarchism, Nationalism, Feminism, Ecologism or Multi-culturalism depending on which non-core political idea your centre has chosen to teach. 

Paper 3: Comparative Politics – USA: This paper lasts two hours and requires you to answer two short 12 mark questions comparing US and UK politics, and two 30 mark essay questions on US Politics topics including the Constitution, Congress, the Presidency, the Supreme Court and Civil Rights, and Democracy and Participation.

Entry requirements

An interest in current affairs is perhaps the most important requirement as it is very beneficial to be able to bring at least some existing knowledge of political events and personalities to your studies. Some knowledge of history can also be helpful as so much of contemporary politics is informed by past events and decisions. Generally, no specific GCSEs are required but you will need a good level of English in order to deal with the essay writing demands of the course.

GCSE Grade 5 in English, English Literature, Ethics or Sociology preferable.

Your next steps...

Politics is a well-regarded A-level on a par with Psychology, Sociology and Law, and will help to provide you with many of the skills required for university study, although if you already have a university and course in mind you should check their specific entry requirements before choosing your A-levels. Some Politics students do go on to work in the political sphere, while other popular career options include law and journalism.