A Level Politics

Did you know?
of our Politics A Level entrants achieved an A* or A grade in 2017

Why should I study Politics?

If you think it is important to understand the relationship between political ideas and political institutions, then this is the course for you. A study of Politics will enable you to become more critically aware of the nature of politics and political ideas both in the UK and USA.

In Year 12 you will study the UK political system and evaluate the extent to which it is a ‘democratic’ system of government. In Year 13 you will study the American political system in depth and will learn about core political ideas, such as socialism, liberalism and feminism. Politics is an academically rigorous subject that will teach you how to argue your point of view cogently and persuasively and how to present a well-turned argument, both on paper and orally. The emphasis will be on analysis and investigation.

Politics will combine especially well with History, Economics, Languages, Classics and Geography but also has a significant contribution to make to the understanding of Maths and Sciences.

What will I need to study Politics?

There are no requirements of subjects at GCSE. Instead, you should have an enquiring mind and an interest in current affairs. You should be keen to participate in active debate and have strong powers of expression. You will be expected to keep up to date with current affairs and read articles from newspapers and journals. You should also be able to evaluate both sides of an argument.

Structure and outline of the Course and Method of Assessment:

We will follow the Edexcel specification.

In Year 12 we will study UK politics with a focus on democracy and political participation in the UK and the structure of UK government. We will examine the nature and health of our democracy by investigating topics such as our electoral system, party structure and the role of the media in politics. Our study of UK government will encompass an examination of our constitution, a study of the role of the executive and an analysis of the relationship between the three branches of government.

In Year 13 we will study US Politics and will examine the institutional framework of US government and consider the interrelationships between its legislative, executive and judicial processes and the health of US federalism. We will also study a range of political ideologies, such as conservatism, liberalism, socialism and feminism. We will be examining the core ideas and thinkers for these ideologies and will also be investigating the tensions and divisions within each ideology.

Method of Assessment:

Three written examinations at the end of Year 13

Student Comments:

“Politics is good because it deals with current affairs. It is happening all the time. It is very relevant.” 

“There are not many subjects where you can turn on your TV and it’s there!”

“We have excellent class discussions. You get an opportunity to give your own opinion.”


Extension Activities

The course is supplemented by visits to the Houses of Parliament and talks from visiting political commentators, such as Lord Norton of Louth and Justine Greening MP. Girls are encouraged to participate in the Model United Nations competition. Previously, Year 12 students attended a politics conference where they heard a range of high profile MPs, from John Bercow MP to Tony Benn. Year 13 attend a conference at the British Library to hear talks from members of Congress about the state of US politics.

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