The Politics A Level introduces students to the process of decision-making in the UK, allowing you to discover how people interact with the political process. You will be exposed to a wide range of debates about the UK and US systems happening right now, such as whether democracy in the UK is in crisis. While parts of the course will provide a historical context, you will study events as they happen, whether that is changes to the Brexit deal, resignations from the Prime Minister’s cabinet, or the latest twists and turns in Donald Trump’s presidency.
The Politics A Level will allow students to deepen their understanding of the decision making process in the US and UK, including how individuals and groups are capable of having influence. Students will learn to critically evaluate arguments, using evidence from a variety of sources. They will learn how to debate different issues while keeping up to date on current affairs. The Politics A Level has a particular focus on the development of analysis and evaluation skills helpful for many higher education courses, but will also provide plenty of life skills such as critically evaluating news sources and how they are covered.
The first year focuses on exploring the UK political system, considering what the various branches of government are, how they interact and how powerful each is. It also examines the different ways people participate, whether through elections, referendums or pressure groups. There is also a section of the course dedicated to the major political ideas; conservatism, liberalism and socialism. Here, the key concepts and thinkers will be explored to see how these have developed over time, considering the tensions that exist within each. The less familiar ideology of ‘anarchism’ will be explored in a similar way. The second year takes a number of these debates and issues and considers how they differ in the US. It will look at the role of the President and how this has differed between Obama and Trump, how Congress and the Supreme Court interact and how the American people participate in the system.
Paper 1: UK Politics and core political Ideas
Paper 2: UK Government and non-core political ideas
Paper 3: US Politics and Government
Politics is an essay based subject, and so a Grade 6 or above is expected in GCSE English Language or GCSE English Literature.