Politics

Examination Board: Edexcel

Understanding power, people and ideas

The study of Politics helps students to develop knowledge and understanding of the role politics plays in relation to current local, national, and global issues, as well as studying key thinkers and political ideas.

What will I study?

In Year 13 students will study UK politics and government, which will give them a set of core knowledge and understanding of politics. Topics will include:

·         Unelected and unaccountable -do we really need the House of Lords?

·         What do MP’S do to represent us?MPs?

·         Brexit – should the government or parliament decide?

·         Voting – how does it work and how should I vote?

In Year 14 you will develop this knowledge, learning about the government and politics of the USA and comparing it to the British political system. You will also study political ideas such as Socialism and Conservatism. Topics will include:

·         How much power will Trump have?

·         Socialism – Karl Marx or Tony Blair?

·         The American electoral system – why is it controversial?

·         The Supreme Court – gay marriage, abortion, death penalty – how do             they decide?

 

Should I Do Politics?

The answer is “Yes” if:

·  You are looking for something new and a bit different.

·  You have an interest in politics or current affairs, or related subjects such as History, Business Studies, Economics; and careers such as Law and Journalism.

·  You are keen to undertake an A Level subject that is well respected and relevant. Politics will teach you not only about issues that will affect every part of your everyday life, empowering you to understand the world around you, but also allow you to learn a number of valuable skills such as communication, analysis and essay writing. You are willing to listen to and question the views of others in an analytical and informed manner, and you enjoy reading newspapers, listening to/ watching political and current affairs programmes, or talking about what’s on the news.

 

ASSESSMENT

This is a new A Level which meets the demands of the reformed A Level curriculum in England and will be accepted by all post-18 further and higher education and training providers and employers.  Our recommendation is that students will finish with both an AS and A Level in Politics, sitting AS exams at the end of Year 13 and A Level exams at the end of Year 14.  There is significant overlap in terms of content and skills but these are two, separate, stand-alone qualifications.  AS exams will allow students to test their knowledge and skills development as they progress towards the A Level which is a two year linear course.  Possible alternatives include sitting AS in Year 13 and not continuing in to Year 14 or choosing not to sit AS exams and just taking the full A Level at the end of Year 14.  There will be time in Year 14 to revise Year 13 material.

summary of specification

AS Level

 

Details of Unit

Assessment

Structure of Exam

% AS

AS Unit 1

UK Politics

● democracy and participation

● political parties

● electoral systems

● voting behaviour and     the media          

Exam

1 hour 45 minutes

(60 Marks)

Section A  One 10-mark question from a choice of two,

Section B  Two 10-mark source questions

Section C One 30-mark question from a choice of two.

 

50

AS Unit 2

Governing the UK

● the constitution

● parliament

● Prime Minister and executive

● relationships between the branches of government

Exam

1 hour 45 minutes

Section A  One 10-mark question from a choice of two,

Section B  Two 10-mark Source questions

Section C One 30-mark question from a choice of two

 

50


 

 

 

Details of Unit

Assessment

Structure of Exam

%

A Level

A Level Unit 1

UK Politics

·Democracy and participation

· Political parties

· Electoral systems

· Voting behaviour and the media.

Core Political Ideas

·         Conservatism

·         Liberalism

·         Socialism

Exam

2 hours

84 Marks

Section A: Political Participation One 30-mark source question from a choice of two Plus one 30-mark question from a choice of two – students must complete one of these. 

Section B: Core Political Ideas One 24-mark question from a choice of two,

 

33

A Level Unit 2

UK Government

· The constitution

· Parliament

·Prime Minister and executive

·Relationships between the branches. 

Optional Political Ideas, one idea from the following (still to be decided)

·         Anarchism

·         Ecologism

·         Feminism

·         Multiculturalism

·         Nationalism.

 

Exam

2 hours

84 Marks

Section A: Political Participation One 30-mark source question from a choice of two Plus one 30-mark question from a choice of two – students must complete one of these. 

Section B: Non - Core Political Ideas One 24-mark question from a choice of two,

 

33

A Level Unit 3

Comparative Government and Politics

·US Constitution and federalism

· US congress

· US presidency

· US Supreme Court and civil rights

·Democracy and participation

·Comparative theories.

Exam:

2 hours

84 Marks

Section A One 12-mark question from a choice of two

Section B One compulsory 12-mark question focused on comparative theories

Section C Two 30-mark questions from a choice of three

33

 

Teaching is conducted using a variety of methods.  You will have the opportunity to:

· Experience a new kind of learning that gives you responsibility and independence. 

· Benefit and contribute to the growing resource base being developed in Firefly for A Level Politics students.

· Take part in formal and informal debates and frequent discussions relevant to topics being studied.

· Develop your written skills and your ability to question, argue and convince.

Where will it take me?

Over the last few years, students studying Politics have tended to carry on to A2, suggesting that they have been both interested and successful in the subject and have enjoyed being part of a small and friendly department. Students have often also undertaken work experience in a Politics related field. Most students go on to study or pursue careers in Law, Politics and International Relations, Policing, Journalism.  They have benefited from a number of seminars and visits. These have included a trip to London to visit Parliament and the Supreme Court, and visits from prominent politicians such as Gavin Robinson, Baroness Blood, Naomi Long and Sylvia Hermon. Some students take this subject as a third or fourth option and benefit hugely from the transferrable skills and knowledge that studying Politics provides. 

What Next?

If you require further information contact Mr McIvor in M2 or Mrs Hempstead in M8.