What does the course involve?
The study of A level Politics is essentially a contemporary study of the political systems of the UK and a comparison with that of the USA. It will include an analysis of the key institutions of the executive, legislature and judiciary. Students will also consider the level and types of political participation and will include elections and voting, political parties and pressure groups. The new A level also requires consideration of the main political ideologies and the impact of different political thinkers.
How will you learn?
It is expected that students will supplement their formal study of Government and Politics by being alert to the course of events in the world of politics and following them in the available media. Students will be taught the importance of individual learning from the start and will be expected to undertake a wide range of reading outside the classroom environment, particularly from magazines, the internet and newspapers.
Class study will involve individual and group presentation, group discussion and debate as well as more traditional teacher centred learning. Students’ progress will be monitored through a variety of written tasks, either essay style questions or shorter written assignments. Also students will be expected to become members of the Politics Society and attend talks organised by the Politics Society Committee given by politicians and academics.
What exams and coursework are involved?
Students will be examined by two final examination papers at the end of the course. There is no course work.
What are the entry requirements?
No additional academic requirements.
Foremost must be an interest in politics and current affairs. Students must have a genuine and informed interest in contemporary issues and a desire to understand the institutions and traditions of government. Students must be prepared to read newspapers and watch/listen to purposeful TV/radio news.
Most students studying A Level Politics will not have studied it before but students with a B grade or above in History and a 6 / B in English Language at GCSE are likely to have the skills necessary to do well at AS and A2 Level.
What could you do after completing the course?
A Level Politics is a well-regarded qualification for a wide variety of higher education and career opportunities. Many students, but by no means all, go onto to read the subject at well-regarded institutions including Oxbridge, LSE and Bristol. Graduates go into a diverse range of occupations, notably Law, the Civil Service and journalism, as well as teaching and academia. Past BWS and SWGS students who have continued to study Politics at undergraduate level include a prospective MP, Fast Track Civil Servants, journalists, professional administrators of political parties and representatives on the London Assembly.