A-Level Government & Politics

A-Level Government & Politics

Why study politics?
Who should study politics, and why? The short answer is that everyone should study politics — all members of society should have a better understanding of the general rules under which they live. For these rules to be effective, as many people as possible should actively participate in making them, upholding them and maybe, changing them. This is what is meant by ‘active citizenship’. A healthy society is a society in which many people participate in political activity and do so with insight and understanding.
 
However, certain students will undoubtedly find politics more exciting than others. What makes politics different as an academic subject is its emphasis on debate, discussion and argument. If politics exists because people disagree studying politics must mean studying how, why and when people disagree and taking an interest in these disagreements.

What is more, we study these things not as neutral observers but as active participants. Facts (what is) and values (what should be) are so closely entwined in politics that it is often impossible to prise them apart.

Politics is therefore particularly likely to suit students who:
• have an interest in the world around them — ones who want to know more about the society they live in, how it works and how it could work
• enjoy debate, discussion and argument — ones who are comfortable with the fact that in politics there are no simple ‘rights’ or ‘wrongs’
• like to think for themselves — ones who want to develop their own views, rather than accept the views of others
 
Entry Requirements
Five GCSEs at grades A* to C or equivalent.

Course Content

AS
Unit 1 – People and Politics
Democracy and Political Participation
Party Policies and Ideas
Elections
Pressure Groups

Unit 2 – Governing the United Kingdom
The Constitution
Parliament
The Prime Minister and the Cabinet
Judges and Civil Liberties

A2
Unit 3B – Introducing Political Ideologies
This unit introduces students to the subject of political ideology. It examines the major ideas of:
Liberalism
Conservatism
Socialism
Anarchism

Unit 4B – Other Ideological Traditions
This unit examines the following ideological traditions:
Nationalism
Feminism
Ecologism
Multiculturalism

Assessment

By final examination
Unit 1 – 1 hour 20 minutes
Two structured questions from a choice of four
 
Unit 2 – 1 hour 20 minutes
One stimulus based question from a choice of two and one extended question from a choice of two
 
Unit 3 and 4 – 1 hour 30 minutes for each unit
Three short answer questions in each unit – both from a choice of five – and one essay question in each unit from a choice of three

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