Switch on the news and politics is frequently the main focus. But politics is not just about politicians and governments, it is also about complex issues like human rights, public services and competing ideologies. Politics affects everyone’s lives. That is why the study of politics is so important. Politics is about people and power: who gets it, how they use it and what makes a society fair. It is concerned with why political conflict occurs and how it is resolved. Politics is fascinating because it is always in a state of flux. This dynamism presents an interesting challenge to theorists in the field: debate, argument and disagreement lie at the very heart of the discipline.
Key Stage 5
What will I study?
This course, following the Pearson Edexcel syllabus, offers you the opportunity to learn about how states are governed, what constitutions are, how elections are conducted, and how citizens can determine the nature of the country they live in by membership of parties and pressure groups. The subject is concerned with contemporary issues and you will consider how key current events link with the theoretical framework. Full advantage is taken of being based in London, and students attend conferences at the British Library, lectures at LSE and UCL and visit Parliament and the Supreme Court.
Component 1: UK Politics and Core Political Ideas
This section explores the nature of politics and how people engage in the political process in the UK.
- Democracy and participation
- Political parties
- Electoral systems
- Voting behaviour and the media
Students will learn about the core ideas and principles, the effects of these ideas, the divisions within each idea and their key thinkers.
Component 2: UK Government and Non-core Political Ideas
This section is about branches of government whose roles and powers are determined by a set of rules: a constitution.
- The constitution
- Prime Minister and executive
- Relationships between the branches
Students will learn about the ideas and principles of the non-core political idea chosen – nationalism, the effects of this idea, the divisions within nationalism and related key thinkers.
Component 3: Government and Politics of the USA
- The US Constitution and federalism
- US Congress
- US presidency
- US Supreme Court and US civil rights
- US democracy and participation
- Comparative theories – synoptic connections between US and UK Politics are made here
How will I be assessed?
Pearson Edexcel Syllabus: 9PL0
This course is modular and consists of the three components outlined above, all examined through a two hour examination, which are equally weighted.
The Politics Department has a strong record of students progressing onto degree courses in Politics, International Relations and PPE.
Politics concentrates on a diverse study of behaviour, theory and relationships. By its very nature, politics throws up new issues and problems that challenge existing ideas. It requires critical reflection, balanced analysis and informed debate. Politics also enables students to write fluently, present confidently and argue effectively: all highly useful skills for university and the world of work, which is why Politics graduates are in strong demand in today’s competitive job market.
Politics prepares you for a wide range of careers. Although many jobs do not require a specific subject at A Level or as a university degree, Politics is very useful for the fields of:
- Public Affairs
- Government and the Civil Service
- Market Research
- Events Organisation
…amongst many others.