St Peter's School

Politics

PoliticsThe Course

Brexit, the instability in Theresa May’s government and the populism around the election of President Trump all mean Politics is more uncertain and more important than ever. What will happen next? This is what makes Politics a lively and exciting subject to study. We look at the people and events shaping British and American politics today to see how the theory of the subject is working out.

The A-level course has three main elements:

  1. British Politics (this will be covered in the LVI) including topics such as elections, Parliament and Prime Minister. This makes up 50% of the total course.
  2. American Politics (this will be covered in the UVI) including topics such as the President,
    Constitution and Civil Rights. This makes up about 30% of the total course.
  3. Ideologies (this will be covered mainly in the summer term of the LVI) including the big ideas behind politics such as freedom and society and consideration of what makes people liberals, conservatives or socialists This makes up about 20% of the total course.

Every summer we have a trip to London to visit Parliament, Downing Street and the Supreme Court. Every other year we have a ten-day exchange during the October half-term with a school in Washington DC where we visit the White House and Congress. Politics is also brought alive at St Peter’s through the regular discussion lunches with Yorkshire MPs and politicians and speakers. In recent years we’ve enjoyed hearing from recent Cabinet Ministers Vince Cable and Alan Johnson as well as senior journalists and academics.

Politics has connections with many other subjects. It combines particularly well with History and Economics, as well as with Human Geography and with some of the ideas covered in Philosophy and Ethics. If you are studying languages at A-level and university then you will be considering the Politics of those countries. If you are a Mathematician or Scientist, Politics makes a great fourth choice to give you insights which will be valuable for a lifetime as well as helping with your evaluation and essay skills.

Looking ahead to your university choices a Politics A-level will help with any of the subjects already mentioned. It is particularly important if you are considering a degree in Law, Politics or International Relations. Above all, it is an exciting subject to study.

Assessment

There are three, two-hour exams for the A-level (and no coursework)

  • Paper 1 - 2hr written paper
    UK Politics & Core Ideologies - 33.3%
  • Paper 2 - 2hr written paper
    UK Government and Additional Ideologies - 33.3%
  • Paper 3 - 2hr written paper
    Comparative Politics – US Government and Politics - 33.3%

Examination Board: Edexcel

Additional Notes

It is recommended that you have at least ‘B’ grades in GCSE English or History as the skills
developed there will aid your successful development on the course.