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Government & Politics

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The Subject

The teaching of Politics at Collingham centres on discussion and analysis, and provides a disciplined training for all humanities courses at university, while giving a particular insight into current affairs and political systems.  

Why study Politics?

  • Will the Coalition Government last? 
  • Do the main parties stand for fundamentally different values any more?
  • Should our electoral system be changed to reflect the fact that more and more people are voting for parties other than Labour and Conservative?

A level Government and Politics is much more than a solid grounding in how the British political system operates. It tackles the key debates about institutions, issues and ideas reflected in Parliament and the media.

As a Politics student, you would look at the ideologies, policies and organisation of the main political parties, the role of pressure groups and elections in a democracy, and how the main parts of the state fit together – monarchy, Prime Minister, Cabinet, devolution, Parliament, local government, judiciary and, of course, the European Union. For the full A level, you would also study the political system of the United States.

Politics combines well with most other subjects and no GCSE background is needed. Ideally you would have a reasonable knowledge of current affairs and a genuine interest in political ideas and debate. Regular reading of a quality newspaper is at least as important as a good textbook, and this is reflected in the approach to teaching – especially for two-year students, where there is plenty of scope for focus on political debate and current affairs developments.

The Course

We teach the Edexcel syllabus, which has the advantage of no coursework. End-of-year exams ask a variety of short definitional questions and longer questions in data analysis and essay format. The whole A level syllabus can be easily managed in one year if you are knowledgeable and prepared to work hard, otherwise in year one student cover British politics, continuing onto American politics in the second year of the course.

A level Politics is excellent preparation for a degree in Politics and related courses, but it is also a good choice if you simply want to keep your options open. It can lead on to a wide choice of careers and can be combined with a wide range of social science and humanities subjects.  

Preferred Board: Edexcel

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