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Government & Politics
We don’t always like politicians and the things that governments do… but the business of politics touches every aspect of our lives. And whilst we might criticise governments for some of their policies, it has to be better than having no government at all. Society just wouldn’t function without an elected body to decide, say, what taxes will be levied, how those taxes will be spent on things like health and education or how the country will be defended. But no matter whether government makes you feel angry or reassured, it’s worth having a knowledge of how the whole process of an elected government works.
Knowledge is power. And this popular A Level gives you the knowledge to understand how government works, particularly in the UK, but also in other countries. If you want to work in local or national government and make a difference to society, this course is a valuable first step. There are other career options as well.
The course examines how Britain is governed and explores important political issues that affect our everyday life. In addition, both AS and A2 will focus on the workings of our system and the contrasting philosophies that underpin them.
Smaller teaching groups provide students with the opportunity to develop the discursive and analytical skills essential in all subjects at degree level. It is a unique discipline; through their studies students are encouraged to develop and explore their ideas about society and human interaction.
AS Programme of Study
Unit 1: People and Politics
This unit introduces students to the key channels of communication between government and the people. It encourages them to evaluate the adequacy of existing arrangements for ensuring representative democracy and participation.
Unit 2: Governing the UK
This unit introduces students to the major governmental processes within the UK. It encourages them to develop a critical understanding of the role and effectiveness of key institutions, and of the relationship amongst them in the context of multi-level governance.
A2 Programme of Study
Unit 3: Key Themes in Political Analysis Topic B: Introducing Political Ideologies
This topic introduces students to the subject of political ideology and examines the major ideas of liberalism, conservatism, socialism and anarchism.
Unit 4: Extended Themes in Political Analysis Topic B: Other Ideological Traditions
This topic examines the ideological traditions that have developed out of, or emerged in opposition to, liberalism, conservatism and socialism.
*AS Government and Politics is taught within 5 lessons of 1 hour in length each week, A2 Government and Politics is taught within 5 lessons of 1 hour in length each week.
Students are encouraged to discuss topical issues and case studies in Politics lessons. It is important that they understand the reasons for, and ideologies behind, their own beliefs.
A variety of study methods that involve both the individual and the group are encouraged, and opportunities to conduct research occur frequently. All sections of the course are supplemented by comprehensive study notes and study guides.
Students who have achieved grade C in five or more GCSEs. It is important that students possess English Language or Literature grades at this level. Students who have studied the GCSE short course must have achieved a grade C or above.
Assessment in AS is by two written examinations each worth 25% of the total ‘A’Level mark or 50% of the A2 mark.
Assessment in A2 is carried out over two written examinations. They are worth 50% of the final ‘A’ Level mark.
Assessment is by the exam board Edexcel.
You will have the chance of going on a trip to London costing around £100, as well as general costs of paper, pen, files etc, plus photocopying credits.
The Academy will not charge for books, materials, equipment and instruction in connection with the National Curriculum or Statutory Religious Education taught at school, except where parents have indicated in advance their wish to purchase the product.
Politics students have a bunch of skills that can very useful to future employers. They are very enthusiastic about their subject, opinionated and typically hardworking.
The skills you will develop include:
• gathering information, assessing and interpreting it
• leading and participating in discussions and groups
• organising workloads and working to deadlines
• developing opinions and ideas
• essay writing, presentation and analytical skills
• reading pages of text and picking out the essential points
• stating a case
• solving problems
• assimilating facts
• expressing yourself clearly (certainly in writing, and probably in person too)
‘A’ Level Politics is an excellent foundation for a variety of courses in Higher Education. Government & Politics teaches a wide range of skills traditionally valued by employers and provides an excellent foundation for careers in: Teaching, Law, Journalism, the Civil Service, Local Government, Personnel and the Media.
Even with a minimum amount of training, many organisations are looking for enthusiastic graduates fresh from university. Potential career paths could include:
• chartered accountant
• technical writer
• industrial buyer retail buyer
• distribution or logistics manager
• marketing executive