A Level: Politics

Course title: Advanced GCE in Politics

Exam board: Edexcel (9PLO 1/2/3B)

Subject specific entry criteria: You do not need to have studied Politics or Citizenship at GCSE to study the subject at A Level. However, you will need to have achieved a Grade 7 in English Language or History.

Course overview

Politics is the study of power and decision making. In this course we will analyse what makes Prime Ministers, Protest Movements and Political Parties powerful. We will debate the important issues of today including climate change, poverty and human rights. In addition, we will consider the political ideas that have shaped our world.

Component 1: UK Politics: focuses on how ordinary people can influence the UK political system through elections, referendums, political parties, pressure groups and the media. It also includes a study of socialism, liberalism and conservatism.

Component 2: UK Government: focuses on the decision makers in UK politics. This includes Prime Ministers, Parliament, the Constitution and the Legal System. It also includes a study of Ecologism, the ideology of the environmental movement.

Component 3: Global Politics: focuses on global political institutions like the UN and IMF. It gives us a chance to study conflict in the Middle East, global inequality, economic development and climate change.

Assessment overview

Students are assessed on:

  • AO1: knowledge of political institutions, events and concepts
  • AO2: ability to compare and contrast and analyse political knowledge
  • AO3 confidence coming to and justifying viewpoints about political debates

Students will sit 3 exams at the end of Year 13 each worth a third of their final grade:

  • Component 1: 120- minute exam
  • Component 2: 120- minute exam
  • Component 3: 120- minute exam
Future progression

Politics helps students to better understand the world around them and can provide invaluable knowledge for careers in law, business or economics. Equally, it gives students a great baseline of knowledge that can help to identify the career or vocation they wish to pursue. It can be studied as a degree at university and also directly relates to courses like international relations and history.

Potential careers

Politics is a fantastic subject for demonstrating to employers an ability to handle and interpret a high volume of information and come to clear conclusions. This is a valuable skill in many private sector careers such as law, finance or business. Equally, the knowledge gained in the course is useful for careers in the Civil Service, public relations and charities.

How to succeed in Politics

The key to success in politics is an interest in the world around you. Students who enjoy watching, reading and talking about the news are usually very successful in politics. It is an essay-based subject so students need to be keen to work on improving their essay writing skills. Finally, students need to have strong opinions and be interested in debating and coming to clear conclusions.