This is a fascinating and constantly developing subject that challenges students’ ideas about how democracy works. This course allows you to study contemporary politics and the mechanics of government, developing a deep understanding of the factors shaping both the British and American systems, as well as assessing the evolution of key political ideologies over time.
“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
Automatic entry onto Level 3 courses includes students achieving 5 x A*-C or equivalent at GCSE alongside a grade 5 or above in both English and Mathematics. Students with either English and/or Mathematics at grade 4 or below will have individual meetings to determine the most suitable pathway within sixth form.
During the study of Politics students will cover material on both the US and UK political systems, entailing units on: constitution, legislature, executive and judiciary, as well as the role and importance of political parties, elections and referendums and the role of pressure groups. Students will engage with the big political questions facing the UK and the US, such as; ’Do our members of parliament really represent us?’ and ‘Is the US electoral system in need of reform?’ and will compare the relative strengths and weaknesses within each system.
A study of four political ideas will also be undertaken; Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism, and Feminism; analysing the differences between key thinkers and assessing how the ideologies have developed over time. Students will touch on related disciplines such as economics, history and law. Further, students of Politics gain a number of transferable skills, including being able to debate and examine issues from all standpoints, an ability to identify, analyse and find solutions to problems and to make reasoned arguments as well as excellent communication skills.
Students should also acquire good research, teamwork and writing skills that will prove a bonus in a wide variety of professions and further education settings. Those who study Politics may go on to a wide and varying career path, including:
- The civil service fast track
- A career in law
AQA Politics A Level is a two year linear course assessed with three formal examinations in the summer of Year 13. Each of these papers is worth 77 marks and 33.3% of the total A Level. All are two hours long:
- Paper 1 – Government and Politics of the UK
- Paper 2 – Government and Politics of the USA and Comparative Politics
- Paper 3 – Political Ideas
Ways to help my child succeed
In Politics nothing is more important than engaging with the subject area. A great way to help your child to succeed is to encourage them in watching, reading or listening to a range of news sources each week and engage them in discussion about their views on current events. Homework will be set each week and you can also help your child succeed by helping them manage their time effectively and meet subject deadlines.