Government & Politics

Key Stage 5 (AS/A Level)

Board: Edexcel

There are many engaging aspects of this course, however the beauty of Government and Politics is that there is more to the course than just a set body of knowledge. Politics constantly changes and evolves as the government wrestles with major political issues on a daily basis, so this course is bound to keep students on their toes!

Course Aims

  • To develop a critical awareness of the nature of politics and the relationship
    between political ideas, institutions and processes.
  • Acquire knowledge and understanding of the structures of authority and power within the political system of the United Kingdom, and how these may differ from those of other political systems.
  • Acquire knowledge and informed understanding of the rights and responsibilities of the individual and encourage an interest in, and engagement with, contemporary politics.

Course Details

Programme of study in Year 12

AS Level Government and Politics contains two modules:

  • Component One - UK Politics: Democracy and Participation; political parties; electoral systems; voting behaviour and the media.
  • Component Two - UK Government: The Constitution; Parliament; Prime Minister and executive; relations between the branches of government.

Programme of study in Year 13

A2 Level Government and Politics contains three modules:

  • Component One - UK Politics and core political ideas: Democracy and Participation; political parties; electoral systems; voting behaviour and the media. Conservatism, liberalism and socialism.
  • Component Two - UK Government and non-core political ideas: The Constitution; Parliament; Prime Minister and executive; relations between the branches of government; Feminism.
  • Component Three - Comparative Politics: The USA: The US Constitution; Federalism; US Congress; US Presidency; US Supreme Court; civil rights; democracy and participation; comparative theories.

Entry Requirements

  • It is preferable that students have studied History at GCSE, due of the degree of analysis involved in Government and Politics at A level, although this is not essential.

Study Skills Required

  • Disciplined methodical approach to note-taking and reading
  • Interest in politics, social and economic issues
  • A willingness to independently keep abreast of current political issues

Teaching Approaches

  • Teacher exposition
  • Seminar work in which students make their own written and oral presentations
  • Discussion and debate
  • Independent research
  • Group research
  • Essay writing - with clear guidance
  • Watching the news and political shows
  • Reading sections of newspapers
  • Visit to Parliament
  • Attending lectures and debates

Careers and Support Subjects

Government and Politics can lead to a variety at exciting options and opportunities in the future:  It is regarded as a creditable A Level at Russell Group universities and you will acquire many transferable skills which are useful for reputable professions in the future.  The ability to analysis and evaluate arguments, as well as retain a great deal of information will provide solid foundations for a career in law, the civil service and any field in politics.  These skills, as well as the general knowledge aspect of Government and Politics are equally useful for careers in media, such as journalism and presenting.  In more general terms the very fact that Government and Politics is an academic subject also reveals to future employees that you are an individual who can grasp difficult concepts and assess issues. 

What other subjects compliment Government and Politics?

Government and Politics is compatible with many A Level subjects, particularly Humanities subjects. Government and Politics can be enriched by History, particularly as there are many overlapping themes: the evolution of parliament and the role of the head of state being one such example. At The Marist, the History A Level course explores the failure of absolutism in France in the eighteenth-century and England in the seventeenth -century, therefore History naturally compliments Government and Politics. Government and Politics can also compliment English, Religion and Ethics and Psychology as so much of Government and Politics is about the study of people; how they interact, how societies can evolve and can be fractured and how the human condition is inextricably connected to decisions people make about politics. Economics also interrelates with Government and Politics as economic problems often result in the politicisation of people and struggling economies can often result in political extremism.

Progression to A2 is contingent on achieving grade C or above at AS Level and behaviour, attendance and punctuality records will also be taken into consideration.