Award Crest
York College

Entry requirements

A minimum of 2 grade Bs and 4 grade Cs at GCSE including GCSE English Language (grade 4). Students should achieve a grade B in either English Language (grade 5), History or Religious Studies.

Duration

Two years.

What will I study?

Who has political power and why? Why has and does political conflict occur and how is it resolved? Why do people vote as they do and how representative are political systems? Who participates in politics? How are political decisions made? What is the thinking behind the big political ideas?

If you are interested in these questions, then Politics A Level is for you. Understanding Politics is the best way to engage with contemporary political debates and understand contemporary political structures and place them within their historical and ideological context. You will be able by the end of the course to critically examine political arguments to more effectively formulate key arguments and reach your own conclusions.

Topics include:

Year 1

Government in the United Kingdom

This involves understanding the key processes and debates about the role of the British constitution and parliament as well as the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Students will explore the role of the Supreme Court, devolution and the EU and the impacts on the nature of British Politics.

Political Participation in the UK

This involves understanding the nature of modern political parties, voting and elections as well as the relationship between democracy and participation.

Year 2

Ideologies

Students will be required to explore the key principles behind a range of modern political philosophies and political thinkers.

Comparative Politics

Students will explore the politics and the government of the USA. Students will be expected to study comparisons with the UK.

How will I be assessed?

The course is assessed via examination.

Additional Information

The Politics teaching team is comprised of politics specialists. The College arranges a variety of speakers that changes from year to year from political parties, pressure groups and academics.

Good course combinations

This course works well with History, Law and any subject that involves debate. It also makes a stimulating fourth subject alongside any combination.

Preliminary reading

Follow the news and read comment and opinion pieces in quality newspapers.
Watch news programmes such as Newsnight, Question Time, Channel 4 News and UK Daily Politics.
The Spirit Level - Why Equality Is Better For Everyone by R Wilkinson and K Pickett
The Shock Doctrine or No Logo by Naomi Kein
Them and Us by Will Hutton
Pity the Billionaire by Thomas Frank
Malcolm X by Manning Marable

What could it lead to?

On average over a third of students finishing Politics apply to study Politics or International Relations at university. Recently students have gone on to a wide range of universities including LSE, Oxford, Bristol, Sheffield, Hull and Nottingham. Politics students have become involved in a wide range of political activities such as campaigning on behalf of the different political parties and various pressure groups. A job in politics, the civil service, media and publishing, pressure groups, consultancy or education is also achievable.

In 2014, a recent politics department graduate became the youngest ever elected female mayor in Britain whilst in 2015 six recent or current Politics students stood for office in the local elections.

100% Achievement in 2016.

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