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This course focuses on the study of both UK and US government and politics. It requires students to identify parallels and differences between aspects of politics through the comparison of both UK and US constitutions. Furthermore, this course will involve a critical examination of the changing nature of politics and the connections between political ideas, institutions and processes.
In this course, you will study:
Government and politics of the UK
- This unit focuses on political participation in the UK and explores many crucial topics, including: voting behaviour, electoral systems, referendums, the role of political parties in a democracy and the influence of pressure groups and protest movements on policy making.
- This unit also includes the study of multi-level governance and the spread of power, including UK national and local government, devolution and even the European Union. We examine how Britain's constitution regulates government and maintains the balance between individual rights and the power of the state. We also investigate the power relationship between an elected parliament and unelected bureaucrats in the civil service.
Government and politics of the USA
- This unit critically examines the constitutional framework of the US government, including the separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalism. It also explores the different branches of government, including the legislative, the executive and the judiciary. The electoral process is also a key topic to consider, with common themes discussed, including presidential and congressional elections and voting behaviour. A major focus of this unit is also to examine the ideologies and policies of the Democrats and Republicans, the influence of pressure groups and civil rights.
- This unit will critically examine influential political ideologies that have shaped the modern world, including liberalism, conservatism, socialism and anarchism. Themes and concepts discussed will include: human nature, liberty, democracy, economy, welfare and the state. Other concepts examined will include: authority, tradition, class conflict, social justice, private property and public ownership.
All three units will be covered over the course during both years.
How will I know how I am doing?
Three 2-hour exams at the end of Year 2.
What do I need to join?
Five GCSEs at grade 4–9, including English and Maths.
Whilst you do not need any specific qualifications other than the entry requirements, you do need to have an interest in current affairs and be prepared to discuss a range of issues by following the news. There is a strong reliance on English language, so you will need to have good essay-writing skills.
You will be required to do a minimum of 36 hours of work experience. This is usually completed in a week during your first year in term time, where you will have the opportunity to explore a career field which takes your interest. In the lead-up to this week, you will be asked to create an exciting CV during a group tutorial period. The aim of this activity is to give you an idea of what full-time employment is like and to help you think about which career you would like to follow.
What can I do next?
Politics is highly regarded by both employers and higher education. It can lead to a variety of careers, including politics, law, teaching, lecturing, journalism, business, the police and the media. It also complements many other A-level subjects, including law, history and sociology. Lastly, politics will also ensure that you are a more informed citizen, capable of constructing rational arguments on a range of important issues that affect our daily lives in a complex world.
Course information last updated: Tuesday 19th January 2021 @ 8.30am (3 hours ago)