If you're interested in world and UK current affairs, enjoy lively debate and are fascinated by the drama of Westminster, then politics A-level is for you. You don't need to have studied the subject at GCSE but an interest in history and good literacy skills will be of benefit for this course. You might be heading for a career in central or local government, law, journalism or political research, however, Politics A-level will give you transferable skills which are useful in a wide range of careers. Politics combines well with other arts, humanities and social science subjects such as history, English, sociology and economics.
You'll study the UK and US political systems in depth, identifying their similarities and differences and focusing on the relationships between political ideas, institutions and processes. You'll learn about the British Constitution and structure of Parliament and understand the responsibilities and functions of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, political parties, the devolved parliaments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the European Parliament and the judiciary. You'll cover the history of British democracy and investigate three important elections since 1945, analysing the campaigns that led up to them and the impact of their outcomes. You'll take a comparative look at the US political system and explore the structural, rational and cultural similarities and differences between them. You'll investigate major political ideologies including liberalism, conservatism and socialism and have the opportunity to choose one further ideology to scrutinise in depth.
Assessment is through final examination at the end of the course. There are 3 written examination papers each of 2 hours duration. Exams are made up of medium length 'explain' and extended writing essay questions. All three papers are equally weighted (i.e. 33.33% of the qualification).
To study A-Levels at MV16 you must have achieved a minimum of grade 4+ in GCSE English and Maths, plus 3 grade 5's in other subject areas and to include subject specific entry requirements where stated.
A-Level Politics will give you an excellent set of transferable skills including the ability to research, analyse and communicate well, in writing and through debate which are useful in a wide range of careers. You could move on to degree level study in subjects such as politics, sociology, ethics, law, business or journalism. There are Civil Service Fast Track apprenticeships and trainee opportunities with local government departments and voluntary sector organisations.