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Government and Politics A Level

Politics is about considering important questions such as; Why the voting age should be lowered to 16? Why aren’t there more women in British Politics? Why do so few people vote in UK elections? Politics is around us and influence our everyday lives. Politics is about the way societies handle the competition for power, decide who may use that power and how it can be curbed to avoid abuse. Politics means different things to different people, it can solve problems, offer alternatives, stimulate anger and frustration or allow for people to live a better life.

‘Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you’. Pericles


A level students will study a two year linear A Level programme. At the end of their 1st year, students will sit internally assessed exams.




Search your university and career options if you study Government and Politics A Level

  • What will I study and learn?

    The topics you will cover in your first year are:

    UK Politics –You will study features of democracy and participation, functions and features of political parties, electoral systems in UK, voting behaviour and the role of media.

    UK Government – You will study the workings of Parliament, the constitution, Prime Minister and executive as well as relationship between branches.

    Core & Non-Core Political Ideas – You will study the key political ideologies of Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism & Feminism.


    The topics you will cover in your second year are:

    Comparative Politics – Global Politics – You will study and explore some of the topical global issues such as globalisation and its economic, political and cultural impacts. The course will also cover the main theories of International Relations such as Realism and Liberalism. The course will also explore the role and significance of international organisations such as UN, IMF, World Bank, G8/20 and non-state actors. You will also explore the causes and consequences of climate change & environmental issues.


    We arrange various enrichment activities every year such as day trips to Parliament and the Supreme Court. In addition, we organise regular residential visits to Berlin and New York. Our Politics department also runs a Debate Club on a weekly basis and we have participated in regional debating competitions. We also have visits from external speakers such as local MPs Sir Vince Cable and Zac Goldsmith.

  • How is the course assessed?

    There is no coursework, written examinations only.

    A Level

    The course is assessed by THREE written exams of two hours each. Each exam is worth 33.33% of the qualification.

    Component 1: UK Politics & Core Political Ideas (Liberalism, Conservatism & Socialism)

    Component 2: UK Government & Non-Core Political Ideas (Feminism)

    Component 3: Comparative Politics - Global Politics

  • What courses would combine well with this course?

    Politics can go with practically anything, but the most common A Level subject companions tend to be Sociology, History, English and Media Studies.

  • What skills will I need for the course?

    Being able to write well is an asset. You will need to keep up with current affairs through the media. Newspapers, TV and radio provide great amounts of information daily on this subject. Familiarity with the internet would be an added bonus which would certainly help you through the course. Prior knowledge of politics is neither necessary nor expected as few schools teach the subject. What you will need is some enthusiasm for current affairs and be able to combine this with reading around issues in the newspapers. Keeping up to date is crucial as politics changes daily and text books quickly date.

  • What formal entry requirements will I need?

    Minimum requirement - average point score of 5.5 including GCSE English Language at grade 6.


    Points calculation

    The average points score for entry to an A Level programme will be calculated using your 8 best GCSEs OR 6 GCSEs plus 1 technical qualification (equivalent to a maximum of 2 GCSEs and 10 points). From 2017 English Language, English Literature and Mathematics GCSE will be graded numerically (1 – 9. Grade 5 = a good grade C, grade 6 = grade B and grade 7 = grade A).

    To work out your average and find out more information, please see our Entry Requirements page.

  • What could the course lead to in higher education or careers?

    You learn and use a variety of transferable skills throughout the course. These include collecting and analysing information and evaluating different political ideas and systems. Your written communication skills will develop greatly, as will your ability to question information given to you. These skills are in great demand and are recognised by employers, universities and colleges as being of great value. A Level government and politics is acceptable at all universities for entry and just about all areas of professional life accept it as a useful and valid subject. In particular it can lead to careers in journalism, the media, public relations and, of course, government.

  • Are there any costs involved?

    You will need to pay for conferences, trips, visits, fieldwork, text books and some printed workbooks. Total cost should not exceed £70 for each year of the course.

  • Are you aged over 19?

    Students aged 19 or over on 31st August directly preceding their academic year may be required to pay tuition fees for that year of study. Advanced Learner Loans may be available for students studying at Level 3.

    If you are aged 19-23 as at 31 August and this is your first full Level 3 you may not have to pay fees. Students who are 19-24 years old with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) issued by the Local Authority are not required to pay course fees (ie tuition fees are free). Students will be required to provide a final copy of their EHCP provided by the LA as evidence.


    You can find A Level course fees for adults on our A Level page. 

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