Politics: A Level


Exam board: Edexcel

What is the course about?

Politics has an enormous impact on our lives and this course will equip you with a strong understanding of how power is exercised in this country. Furthermore, it will equip you with the knowledge and skills to play a full part in the political process. You will also develop other important qualities such as critical thinking and effective writing skills.


Duration of course: 

Two years.


What units/topics will be studied?

You will study a wide range of areas, giving you a broad understanding of political systems and political ideologies. You will focus on topics such as democracy and participation, electoral systems and political parties. You will also have the opportunity to study the main ideological traditions in this country; conservatism, socialism and liberalism. Finally you will gain an insight into how government and politics in the UK compares with the USA.


What do I need to study this subject?

You will need a GCSE points score of 36, including a grade 5 in English Language.


What can I do to prepare myself to study this subject?

The most useful thing you can do is make sure you keep up to date with current affairs, this means regularly watching news programmes and reading a reputable news source. The key textbook for year one is ‘UK Government and Politics’ by Andrew Heywood, and there are also resources on the Edexcel website.


Where can this lead me?

The course is highly regarded by both universities and employers, due to the critical thinking skills you develop and its analytical and discursive nature. It fits in well with a variety of other subject areas, including; law, economics, sociology and history. Furthermore, it provides an excellent academic foundation for careers in the media, teaching, law, social work, the civil service, local government and research (e.g. think-tanks or MPs).


What are the enrichment opportunities as part of this subject?

Trips include a visit to Parliament and City Hall (Mayor of London’s Question Time), conferences at universities and opportunities to attend speeches by MPs. Local politicians have also given talks at the college. You will also have the opportunity to participate in Model United Nation conferences and contribute to our Amnesty International club.