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
Five GCSEs at grades A* to C or equivalent.
Component 1 – People & Politics
Democracy and Participation
Electoral Systems, Voting Behaviour and the Media
Component 2 – UK Government
The Prime Minister and the Executive
Relationships between the branches
Component 1 – UK Politics
This covers Political Participation and Core Political Ideas:
Democracy, Parties, Electoral systems, Voting Behaviour and the Media
Components 2 & 3 – UK Government & Comparative Politics
Covering UK Government, Constitution and one idea from the following:
You will study either U.S.A or Global as one theme in Component 3
|By final examination|
AS Component 1 – 1 hour 45 minutes
AS Component 2 – 1 hour 45 minutes
A-level Component 1 – 2 hours
A-level Component 2 – 2 hours
A-level Component 3 – 2 hours
All of the above assess A01 A02 and A03 Assessment Objective Criteria.
Where does it lead?
This non-static subject post A-level provides a range of future possibilities including undergraduate study in Politics and International Relations. the analytical skills developed relate to careers in the civil service, law, journalism and academic teaching and research.
The key texts are, Edexcel AS / A-level Politics (Pearson)
AS Politics by N. McNaughton
U.S politics by A.J. Bennett
Global Politics by A. Heywood