What are the entry requirements?
5 GCSEs at A* – C including English.
Unit 1: Contemporary Politics of the United Kingdom
Unit 2: Contemporary Government of the United Kingdom
Unit 3: Contemporary US Government and Politics
Unit 4: US Government and Politics
How will I be assessed?
Unit 1: Section A: Students are required to answer all source-based questions to demonstrate knowledge of political parties and pressure groups. Section B: Students answer one essay question from a choice of three to demonstrate knowledge of electoral systems, UK parliamentary elections or voting behaviour in the UK.
• Exam duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
• 50% 0f AS / 25% of A2
Unit 2: Section A: Students are required to answer all source-based questions to demonstrate knowledge of the executive and legislature. Section B: Students answer one essay question from a choice of three to demonstrate knowledge of the constitution, the European Union or the judiciary.
• Exam Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
• 50% of AS / 25% of A2
Unit 3: Students are required to question answer 1 which will be structured and contain a stimulus and may be drawn from any of the 8 topics covered in this unit. Candidates must then choose three questions from a choice of seven to demonstrate knowledge of presidential elections, political parties and pressure groups, the constitution, Congress, the presidency, the Supreme Court and civil rights and liberties.
• Exam Duration: 2 hours
• 25% of A-Level
Unit 4: Students are required to answer two questions from a choice of eight. Candidates need to draw upon their knowledge of UK politics, US government and politics, other political systems and the European Union.
• This unit is synoptic
• Exam duration: 2 hours
• 25% of A-Level
What will I study?
Units 1 and 2 develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the political system of the UK, including the local and European Union (EU) dimensions. The units also encourage candidates to develop their capacity for critical thinking, to see relationships between different aspects of government and politics and to perceive their field of study in a broader perspective, including some comparisons with other political systems. Finally students will develop their knowledge and understanding of relevant political concepts and processes.
In the contemporary politics unit, students look at the main UK political parties and pressure groups. They look at the nature of the UK electoral system and the use of referenda as well as focusing on UK parliamentary elections and analysing voting behaviour in the UK. In Unit 2 however students have to understand the relationship between different functions of the government and how these organs interlink (the executive, legislature and judiciary). They will also consider the role of UK politics in the European Union
Units 3 and 4 extend students’ knowledge and understanding beyond the context of the political system of the UK. The units specifically address the essential characteristics and inter-relationships of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary and investigate the rights and responsibilities of the individual. Students have to assess the adequacy of existing political arrangements for ensuring representative democracy and participation. This is achieved by studying different political ideologies, theories and debates and being aware of current political debates.
In units 3 and 4 students will understand the difference between congressional and presidential elections. They will study the main political parties and pressure groups and how far they represent the American public. Students will also need to understand the roles of Congress, the Presidency and the Supreme Court; to consider how far they interlink or check the power of each other. Students will also explore the American constitution and decide how far it is representative and inclusive of civil rights and liberties.
Where can it lead me?
Government and Politics provides an excellent academic and skill base for a wide range of university courses and careers. The various skills required by the specification provide opportunities for progression directly into employment but equally also contribute to students’ lifelong learning, especially through key skills. Government and Politics students have gone into a range of areas including law, journalism, the civil service, current affairs and diplomacy.