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Course Name: Politics A Level
Exam Board: AQA

Course Specification

What will you study?

The A Level Politics specification is designed to encourage students to develop their critical thinking skills and enhance their ability to interpret, evaluate and comment on the nature of politics. Students acquire knowledge of the structures of authority and power within the political system of the United Kingdom and the USA, as well as the key ideologies underpinning politics across the world.  

Year 12 & 13 Politics

Paper 1 Government and Politics of the UK
  • Constitution; Parliament; Prime Minister and Cabinet; Devolution; Judiciary
  • Democracy and participation; elections; pressure groups; political parties
Paper 2 Government and Politics of the USA and comparative politics
  • Constitution; Congress; President; judiciary
  • Electoral process; parties; pressure groups; civil rights
  • Comparative politics – constitutions; executives; legislatives; judiciaries; electoral systems; pressure groups; civil rights
Paper 3 Political Ideas
  • Liberalism: the individual; human nature and the state; classical liberalism; modern liberalism
  • Conservatism: government and the free market; authority and the state; traditional conservatism; the new right
  • Socialism: Marxism and class; human nature and society; revolutionary socialism; social democracy
  • Nationalism: Origins; core ideas; varieties of and tensions within nationalism; threats to nationalism; nationalism today.

What skills will you develop?

You will develop your critical thinking skills and enhance your ability to interpret, evaluate and comment on the nature of politics. You will develop essay writing and debating skills which are transferable to other subjects.

Politics goes well with Economics, History, Sociology, Philosophy and English. History students, in particular, have found that a grounding in British and American politics has helped enormously with their two History papers, giving them a deeper understanding of the main topics in these papers. Politics does not just appeal to Social Science students, however: increasingly, Art and Drama students have enrolled to study Politics, giving them a broader perspective on the world.

How will you be assessed?

There are 3 units:

  • Government and Politics of the UK
  • Government and Politics of the USA and Comparative Politics
  • Political Ideas

Each unit is examined by a single exam, each lasting 2 hours.