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Garth Hill College

AS/A Level Politics

Studying A Level Politics will provide insight into political beliefs central to an understanding of the modern world. It also develops analytical and evaluative skills in relation to interesting topics relevant in the turbulent political climate of today. The course will also provide a foundation of political knowledge on which to develop skills vital for university study.

Studying this subject will develop your understanding of structures of authority and power, how political systems differ, and enable you to interpret, evaluate and comment on the nature of politics and government. You will also develop a range of transferrable analytical, debating and communication skills – all of which are valuable in a wide range of careers.

Exam Board and syllabus code

  • Edexcel  8PLO/ 9PLO

Content AS

  • Unit 1: People and Politics
  • Unit 2: Governing the UK

Content A2

  • Unit 1: UK - People and Politics

  • Unit 2: Governing the UK

  • Unit 3: Comparative Politics (the US Constitution and federalism, US Congress, US presidency, US Supreme Court and civil rights, democracy and participation, comparative theories).

Assessment AS: 

Unit 1 examination:  1 hour and 45 minutes

Section A

  • One 10-mark question from a choice of two, which assesses AO1.

Section B

  • Two 10-mark questions – one question focuses on a single source and assesses AO1 and AO2. The other question focuses on two comparative sources and assesses AO2 and AO3.

Section C

  • One 30-mark question from a choice of two, which assesses AO1, AO2 and AO3

Unit 2 examination:  1 hour and 45 minutes

Section A

  • One 10-mark question from a choice of two, which assesses AO1.

Section B

  • Two 10-mark questions – one question focuses on a single source and assesses AO1 and AO2. The other question focuses on two comparative sources and assesses AO2 and AO3.

Section C

  • One 30-mark question from a choice of two, which assesses AO1, AO2 and AO3.

Assessment A2

Unit 1 examination:  2 hours

UK Politics and Core Political Ideas

  • One 30-mark question from a choice of two (each question uses a source) – students must complete one of these. Plus one 30-mark question from a choice of two – students must complete one of these.
  • All questions assess AO1, AO2 and AO3.

Section B: Core Political Ideas

  • One 24-mark question from a choice of two, which assesses AO1, AO2 and AO3

Unit 2 examination:  2 hours

UK Government and Non-Core Political Ideas

Section A: UK Government

  • One 30-mark question from a choice of two (each question uses a source) – students must complete one of these. Plus one 30-mark question from a choice of two – students must complete one of these.
  • All questions assess AO1, AO2 and AO3.

Section B: Non-core Political Ideas

  • One 24-mark question from a choice of two, which assesses AO1, AO2 and AO3

Unit 3 examination: 2 hours

Comparative Politics – The USA

Section A

  • One 12-mark question from a choice of two, which assesses AO1 and AO2.

Section B

  • One compulsory 12-mark question focused on comparative theories, which assesses AO1 and AO2.

Section C

  • Two 30-mark questions from a choice of three, which assess AO1, AO2 and AO3.

Skills/Aptitudes needed to succeed

AS/A2 Government and Politics is an academic and demanding course. To be successful you need to be able to: 

  • You must be able to write well and at length, so we expect a grade B at least in English.
  • You must be able to present, discuss and defend an argument.
  • You must be able to work independently to keep on top of the heavy workload.
  • You must be able to meet tight deadlines as you are formally assessed every two weeks.
  • You need to be very interested in current affairs and politics.  Do you watch the news and read about politics on a regular basis?

Benefits and Uses

If you are considering university, this course can lead you to study into higher education programs such as Politics, Economics, Journalism, Law, International Relations, History and Social Policy.

Career opportunities building out from the study of Politics includes law, civil service, journalism, the caring professions, teaching and a range of management and business areas.

  • Good teaching and resources. Experienced teaching team.
  • A subject which is well respected by universities and employers.
  • A subject which allows you to understand people and events.
  • A subject which develops many work-related skills such as the ability to research, develop an argument and analyse and evaluate problems.

Resources to Support Study