Social Sciences

Social Sciences
Social Sciences
We are only accepting one application per candidate.

What will you be working towards?

Code POL1
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


Why study the subject

Politicians have huge power over us, but how much power do we have over politicians? With so many unexpected and unpredictable political events taking place in the UK and the USA in recent years, the study of Politics has never been more relevant. It is the perfect subject for those with enquiring minds and a desire to find out what is going on in the world today and why. This course allows you to study contemporary politics and develop a strong understanding of the factors shaping both British and American society. You will also gain insight into some of the great political ideas that have shaped the world we live in. Studying politics helps in the development of discussion and debating skills and encourages you to think beyond the constraints of a textbook. Over two years, you will explore questions such as: ‘What is Brexit all about?’, ‘Is Britain truly democratic?’, ‘Why are guns and race such big issues in America?’, and look at the influence of significant political thinkers such as Edmund Burke, Karl Marx and Mary Wollstonecraft. 

Skills Acquired

Studying this subject will develop your understanding of structures of authority and power, how political systems differ, and enable you to interpret, evaluate and comment on the nature of politics and government. You will also develop a range of transferrable analytical, debating and communication skills - all of which are valuable in a wide range of careers. 

Students suited to the course 

You don't need any prior knowledge of Politics in order to start the A level course but you do need a solid complement of GCSEs: with mostly 5 grades at GCSE. You may well find Politics very demanding, especially the Political theory sections so to access the course you will need to have a GCSE grade 5 in English Language or Literature.   

The requirement to write essays, in which you evaluate means that you should also have a good grasp of the English language. Most important, though, is that you have a genuine curiosity about societies are governed and how people are represented in modern democracy.  

What other subjects it combines well with 

Politics is well suited to students who are both predominantly arts and humanities focused and/ or science focused; therefore the subject is often taken with subjects such as History, Geography, RS, Art, Sociology, English, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics.  


Course Structure

Year 12
UK Politics and Government: Political Participation; democracy and participation, political parties, electoral systems, voting behaviour and the media. UK Government; the constitution, parliament, Prime Minister and executive, relationships between the three branches of government. 

Core Political Ideas; conservatism, liberalism, socialism and feminism.

Year 13
Comparative Politics – Representation in the USA; the US Constitution and federalism, US Congress, US presidency, US Supreme Court and civil rights, democracy and participation, comparative theories. 

Unit content 

Unit 1: 
Democracy and participation 
Political parties 
Electoral systems
Voting behaviour 
The media

Unit 2:  

The constitution
Prime Minister 
The executive
Relations between the branches

Unit 3: 
Constitution and federalism
US Congress
US presidency
US Supreme Court 
Civil rights, democracy and participation
Comparative theories. 

How will it be delivered?

All 3 units are assessed through a 2 hour examination at the end of year 13. Each examination has a mixture of short and longer essay response questions. 

Entry requirements

GCSE grade 5 in English Language or Literature

Your next steps...

A-level Politics provides an excellent background for careers in law, journalism, the civil service, education, the caring professions and a range of management and business areas.