A Level Politics (Edexcel)

Politics is taught in the Sixth Form only. 

A Level Politics is a fascinating comparative study of contemporary British, European and American politics.  Although perhaps suffering from a crisis of confidence, western style liberal democracy remains one of the most successful political ideas of the modern age.  Through our studies of British, European and American liberal democracy, we seek to explore many of the strengths and weaknesses of this system of governance. Through this, we also tease out both the similarities and differences between the systems of governance used in western liberal democracies – for example between Britain’s Parliamentary system and America’s Presidential one.

No prior knowledge of any political system, institution or ideology is required of students who take up A Level Politics, although a prior study of a similar subject, such as history or citizenship at GCSE would provide a helpful introduction. It is more important however, that you have a lively and enquiring mind, an interest in politics and current affairs, a desire to explore new ideas and an ability to communicate your ideas clearly and accurately.  Much of the assessment is essay based and a lot of reading around the subject is required during independent study.

 

The Department

Ms M Gardiner – Head of Social Sciences

Mr NC Dyer – Headmaster

Mr Higgs – teacher of History and Politics

 

Summary of A Level Content

Theme 1 UK politics and Core ideologies

There are four content areas in UK Politics:

1. Democracy and participation

2. Political parties

3. Electoral systems

4. Voting behaviour and the media.

There are three content areas in Core Political Ideas:

 1. Liberalism

2. Conservatism

3. Socialism.

Theme 2 UK Government and optional ideology – feminism

There are four content areas in UK Government:

1. The constitution

2. Parliament

3. Prime Minister and executive

4. Relationships between the branches

Theme 3 Comparative Politics: Politics and Government of the USA

There are six content areas:

1. The US Constitution and federalism

2. US Congress

3. US presidency

4. US Supreme Court and US civil rights

5. US democracy and participation

6. Comparative theories. 

Assessment

At the end of Year 13, three hour papers are sat by candidates, largely essay based, each worth 84 marks.  All unseen, 100% exam. 

In order to help prospective students decide whether a study of Politics is for them, a look at the following websites and books may be of use.

Websites

www.parliament/uk

www.europarl.org.uk

www.europa.eu (EU website)

www.house.gov/  (US House of Representatives)

www.senate.gov/ (US Senate)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/bbc_parliament/

www.conservatives.com/

www.labour.org.uk/

www.libdems.org.uk/ 

www.greenpeace.org

www.bma.org.uk

www.cbi.org.uk

www.rspca.org.uk

www.nspcc.org.uk

www.tuc.org.uk

http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-government-and-politics-h095-h495/

www.tutor2u.com

Books

British Politics For Dummies by Julian Knight

British Politics: A Beginner's Guide by Richard Greyson

British Politics: A Very Short Introduction by Tony Wright

Politics (Palgrave Foundations Series) by Andrew Heywood

A Brief Introduction to US Politics by Robert J. McKeever and Philip John Davies

The European Union: A Very Short Introduction by John Pinder

The EU by Alasdair Blair

Essential reading

http://www.independent.co.uk/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

http://www.theguardian.com/uk

http://www.economist.com

 

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