Government and Politics

Is Government and Politics the subject for you?

If you love to debate, discuss and argue, then Politics is for you! People disagree about many things such as ‘How should people live?’ ‘What rules or principles should guide our behaviour?’ ‘How should power and resources be distributed?’ ‘How should society be organised?’ In this subject you will consider all these questions and many more.

This subject is suited for you if you have an interest in the world around you; if you want to know more about the society you live in and the institutions that have ruled your life ever since you were born.

Politics is not a subject of absolute rights or absolute wrongs; it is a subject of rival viewpoints and competing opinions. The challenge of politics is to develop your own views and opinions in light of the viewpoints and perspectives available to you. This means, above all, thinking for yourself.

Course content

In Year 12 students study two broad themes; People and Politics and Governing the UK. In People and Politics you will study Democracy and Political Participation, Party Policies and Ideas, Elections and Pressure Groups. In Governing the UK you will study The Constitution, Parliament, The Prime Minister and Judges and Civil Liberties. In Year 13 students study two themes covering politics in the USA. In Representative Processes in the USA we examine the US political system and consider how democratic it really is. In Governing the USA we examine the institutional framework of the US government and considers the interrelationship between its legislative, executive and judicial processes and the health of federalism

Methods of study

Students will learn through teacher led sessions as well as student presentations. Discussion and debate will be at the very heart of lessons, so student input is vital to the running of a successful lesson. Students will learn how to critically analyse articles and journals from broadsheet newspapers such as The Times, The Guardian and The Independent, as well as reading Politics Review. Students will also learn to objectively scrutinise political television programmes such as Panorama, Question Time and The Daily Politics Show as well as listening to Westminster Hour on Radio 4. Essay writing practice will be integral to this course; you will learn how to write clear, well structured essays in order to ensure you achieve your very best in this subject.

How will it be examined?

AS qualification will count towards the final grade of an A Level (Legacy).

Career opportunities

According to the official UK statistics, last year 'property development, renting, business and research activities' recruited the highest number of Politics graduates, with 'public administration, defence, and social services' second. Politics is particularly useful if you are considering a career in Law, Business/Retail Management, the Media or Civil Service. However the knowledge and skills which the study of Politics will give you, will be welcomed by any employer. Do not just consider the usefulness of the subject, you may simply be interested in learning about Politics and attracted by a new challenge.