Politics

Contact Teacher: Reverend M Luff

Exam Board: AQA

Why study Politics?

Brexit, The US election, devolution, Corbynism, The Red Wall, elections, lobbyists, Cronyism, The Supreme Court. If any of these sound familiar, it’s because we can’t ignore politics. In recent years, it seems like politics is becoming more polarised. But is it? If it is, then why? Many people have strong opinions about politics, but sadly, it isn’t always on the basis of having a clear understanding about how the political process is meant to work, and what the theories are that underpin it. A Level Politics is NOT for you if you simply hold opinions on how we are governed. It IS for you if you wish to develop a deeper understanding of how the political process operates, in this country and overseas. Lively, relevant, controversial… there are many ways to describe A-Level Politics. There’s no denying that it’s one of the most interesting and engaging qualifications you can choose. Covering news and current affairs from the UK and US, it helps you understand how the UK country is run and develops research, written communication and debate skills. It also helps grow your confidence. It’s ideal if you’re considering studying politics, sociology, ethics, advertising or journalism at university and is highly regarded by employers in industries including politics, international organisations, the media, government and the civil service.

Politics Learning Journey

This is a visual representation of how students' knowledge and skills develop through the Politics curriculum.

(click on the image below to view a larger version)

Politics Learning Journey 2023 image

Course details

There are three broad areas of study in this specification:

  • the government and politics of the UK
  • the government and politics of the USA, and comparative politics
  • political ideas.

The specification requires in depth study of UK and US government and politics. Comparisons across the two political systems are required in the topic entitled Comparative politics. Students will be required to identify parallels, connections, similarities and differences between aspects of politics. This will ensure that students develop a critical awareness of the changing nature of politics and the relationships between political ideas, political institutions and political processes. The political ideas to be studied have relevance to both of the systems of government and politics. A study of four ideologies will enhance the students’ knowledge and understanding of politics, political debate and political issues in both the UK and the USA.

How the course is taught and assessed

Each of the 3 broad areas of study are taught as discrete units, and this leads to 3 exams:

  • Paper 1: Government and politics of the UK: 2 hour exam: 1/3 of the A Level
  • Paper 2: Government and politics of the USA, Comparative politics: 2 hour exam: 1/3 of the A Level
  • Paper 3: Political ideas: 2 hour exam: 1/3 of the A Level

Each exam has a mixture of medium length ‘explain’ and essay style questions.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for the 6th Form apply for A Level Politics.