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Government and Politics AS / 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



  • What will I study and learn?

    The topics you will cover if you do the AS Level only 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.


    If you choose to do the full A Level you will study all of the above, plus:

    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 Vincent Cable and Zac Goldsmith.

  • How is the course assessed?

    There is no coursework, written examinations only.

    AS Level

    • The course is assessed by TWO 1 hour 45 minutes written exams.
    • Each exam is worth 50% of the qualification.
    • The exam papers include a range of different questions such as, source-based questions, extended essay, and some shorter questions.

    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
    • Component 2: UK Government & Non-Core Political Ideas
    • Component 3: Comparative Politics - Global Politics

    Again, there is no coursework.

  • 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?

    You will need an average GCSE points score of 5.5 including GCSE English 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. AS/A2 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.

To Apply or Enquire

If you are interested in applying please fill out an application form. If you require more information please do not hesitate in sending us your queries via our enquiry form. We will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.

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A Level Government and Politics

a level english politics maths and psychology student has great preparation to get into a top university from Richmond upon Thames College in London

Great preparation for university

“I’m really enjoying studying English Language as I like writing essays and the theorists we’ve studied have been fascinating. My research and referencing skills have improved a lot which is great preparation for university. The teachers on all my A level subjects are really supportive and are always on hand to offer help and advice on things like coursework and career choices.”

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