Government and Politics (Edexcel)

Politics exists because people disagree. They disagree about how they should live (moral questions), about who should get what (resource questions) and about who should make decisions (power questions). People with different ideas, values, opinions and interests attempt to find a way of living together within the same society. As such, politics is the most basic and necessary of social activities – the creation of an orderly existence. Politics will suit students who:

  • Have an interest in the world around them and who want to know more about the society they live in, how it works and how it could work
  • Enjoy debate, discussion and argument and who are comfortable with the fact that in politics there are no simple ‘rights’ or wrongs’
  • Take an interest in news and current affairs and like to think for themselves, developing their own views rather than just accepting the views of others

THIS IS A TWO-YEAR LINEAR A LEVEL COURSE: The syllabus will be assessed by a terminal exam, consisting of 3 component papers.

A Level
Component 1: UK Politics, comprising:
– Political Participation in the UK: focusing on the mechanisms that link people to government. Its core themes are
political participation, democracy, political parties, and the electoral system.
– Core Political Ideas: students will study the core political ideas of conservatism, liberalism and socialism.
Assessment: Written examination, 2 hours, 33 1/3% of A Level qualification

Component 2 UK Government, comprising:
– UK Government: focusing on the main institutions of the central UK government. Its core themes are the distribution of policy-making power and the effectiveness of the key bodies in carrying out their roles or functions. Topics include the British Constitution, Parliament, prime minister and executive and the relationship between the branches.
– Non-Core Political Ideas: students will study either anarchism, ecologism, feminism, multi-culturalism or nationalism.
Assessment: Written examination, 2 hours, 33 1/3% of A Level qualification

Component 3: Comparative Politics
Government and politics of the USA – focuses on the:

  • US Constitution and federalism
  • US Congress
  • US presidency
  • US Supreme Court and civil rights
  • Democracy and participation
  • Comparative theories with the UK

Assessment: Written examination, 2 hours, 33 1/3% of A Level qualification

Minimum Entry Requirements: 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including grade 4 in GCSE History or Grade 4 in English Language if History is not taken at GCSE.

Updated January 2019