Do you enjoy a stimulating and dynamic subject which investigates topical issues and controversies that affect our everyday lives? Politics helps us understand how the British political system works, where power lies and how our system compares with others. Students will develop a range of analytical, investigative and critical skills to use in whatever career path they choose. To do well in Politics students will need to keep up-to-date with current affairs.
Politics combines well with the majority of subjects, particularly:
Politics students are well respected for their versatility and their analytical and evaluative skills, which are essential in many professions. Possible careers include the Civil Service, Teaching, Marketing and Advertising.
The course is divided into three papers:
- UK Politics and Core Political Ideas
- UK Government and Non-Core Political Ideas
- Comparative Politics (USA)
Course Specific Trips, Visits & Experiences
Politics students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of course related experiences. In the last couple of years, these have included:
- A visit to Parliament where students took part in a question and answer style debate about the UK’s membership of the EU
- A tour of the Houses of Parliament and a question and answer session with Reigate’s MP, Crispin Blunt
- A ‘Question Time’ debate involving all the major candidates for the Reigate Constituency and a mock election
- A visit to the Reigate & Banstead Council Chambers for an interactive elections activity
In addition to course specific experiences, students also have the opportunity to get involved in the College’s Activities Programme.
All students need to gain an experience of the work place during their time at College and for students studying vocational courses it should ideally be linked to one of their subject areas.
This course is 100% examination based. Students will sit three external examinations at the end of the second year.
The exam board for this A Level is Pearson Edexcel.
All students need to have at least five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme.
In addition, students should meet the following minimum GCSE requirements:
- Grade 5 in English Language
No previous experience of Politics is required, however, an interest in current affairs and a desire to explore new ideas is essential. Students need to be willing to work hard and be able to plan their own learning.
Most students begin studying Politics having never studied the subject before: this is not a disadvantage. However, a willingness to find out about contemporary politics is essential. Students should genuinely enjoy the following:
- Reading and keeping up-to-date with Politics
- Developing and analysing different points-of-view in writing
- Group discussions
This course will help students to develop a range of analytical, investigative and creative skills which they will be able to use in whatever career path they choose.
Which topics do you cover on the course?
We look at UK Politics in the first year, including democracy in the UK, political parties, voting behaviour and the power of the Prime Minister. At the end of year one, we focus on political ideologies, including socialism, conservatism, liberalism and feminism. In year two we cover US Politics and compare it with the UK. We pay particular attention to US presidential elections and the power of the presidency.
In a nutshell, Politics is about finding out how political systems work, debating whether they work well, and considering proposals to make them work better.
Which career path would A Level Politics be helpful for?
Politics at A Level and at degree level teaches you skills that are useful for a number of jobs. These include marketing, advertising, teaching, the civil service, media and communications, law and of course, careers in politics!
Will Politics A Level be useful for a career in Law?
Yes! Universities like any subject where students are encouraged to develop an argument. However, there are lots of subjects that are helpful for Law.
The most important consideration when choosing Politics is whether you enjoy watching, listening to or reading about current affairs.
Do I need to know a lot about Politics to get on the course?
Absolutely not – we teach you how things work. The most important thing is that you are eager to find out about Politics and that you regularly keep up to date with news and current affairs
How is the course assessed?
There are three 2 hour exams at the end of Year 2. There is no coursework component.
Do you learn about all sides of the argument? What happens if my views are different from those of the class?
We always ensure that you learn about different approaches to solving problems. You will likely form strong opinions about lots of different political topics, but we focus on respecting different viewpoints. We insist on respectful language and behaviour and though the debates we have might get noisy, they always remain friendly!