Politics

In this rapidly changing world, politics has become more important than ever. If you are interested in current affairs, ideas and how the country is run, then this is the course for you. You will explore the British political system and the parties, people and groups that impact society. The course also features global politics, where you will study big international organisations and the important themes surrounding human rights, poverty, the environment and war.

Awarding Body

Available As

A Level

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What will I study?

In the first year you will discover the key issues in British politics and government. This means exploring topics such as how the branches of government fit together, analysing whether the UK should change its electoral system and investigating what motivates people to vote in the way that they do.

The second year of the course broadens the focus to include international relations. Here you will look at the big issues that are currently threatening the world, such as terrorism and climate change. You will also find out about how the international community attempts to deal with such issues through global and regional organisations such as the UN and EU.

Across both years of the course you will learn more about political ideologies. This includes studying the compulsory ideologies of Liberalism, Conservatism and Socialism, as well as discovering more about optional political ideas such as Feminism.

How will I learn?

Politics is an exhilarating subject which provokes lots of debate. With that in mind, we spend a lot of time discussing the big issues of the day. Not only will you learn to refine your skills of debate but you will also get to experience a range of differing teaching methods including lectures, group work and personal study. This course poses many questions about the world in which we live and we really aim to get students to develop not only their knowledge of the subject but also their perspective on the big political controversies.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is through three exams at the end of the two year course. The first two exams comprise of source-based essay questions and a choice of knowledge-based essay questions, while the final exam assesses students through short answer questions and longer essay questions.

Are there any trips on this course?

We aim to ensure all Politics students have an opportunity to participate in study trips, including a conference in London, a trip to Parliament and an international visit. Our students have recently visited some EU institutions in Brussels.

Are there any extra costs?

Textbooks are avaliable both in class and in the library. Students will be expected to purchase course booklets for a small charge from Reprographics. There are also costs if you would like to participate in any trips.

Are there any specific entry requirements?

The normal college entry requirments, in addition to a Grade 5 in English Language

What enrichment activities are offered?

We invite in a variety of guest speakers in order to enrich students' learning. Recent notable speakers include local MPs and a Professor from the University of Oxford. We also organise small Q&A sessions where students can quiz their local MP. At election time, the College hosts a hustings for local candidates to speak and answer questions.

There will also be the opportunity to visit key political institutions including the Houses of Parliament and the Supreme Court, as well as European institutions.

What work experience opportunities are there?

Many of our students arrange work experience placements with local MPs.

Careers Information

FAQs

Do I need to read the newspapers?

Yes, there is a focus on current affairs and you will be expected to keep up with political developments. You will be expected to get into the habit of watching/listening to/reading up on the news and take your turn presenting “Story of the Week”.

I love arguing about politics - is this the course for me?

There are plenty of opportunities to debate, but you will not necessarily be arguing your own viewpoint – this is political science with no room for ranting.

Is there coursework?

No – assessment is entirely through exams.

Is it just about British politics?

No, in the second year you will focus on more international issues and will develop an awareness of global political geography.