Studying Politics is a powerful tool in understanding our world. The department aims to empower students in being agents of change. A-Level Politics provides an extensive understanding of the functions and purpose of government as well as different theories of how states influence our lives. It enables students to be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of society in terms of a democratic deficit and inequalities or privileges of particular groups. Students will develop their capacity for critical thinking, whilst also developing research, debate and presentation skills. All of these skills are essential to becoming leaders in the paths students pursue after they leave our school. Furthermore, as Politics is an essay-based subject, students will develop writing skills which will provide an excellent foundation for any chosen subject at degree level. The subject makes a good combination with disciplines such as History, Sociology, Economics and English.
Key Stage 5
The course is comprised of three papers.
The first paper is a study of UK Politics and Political Ideologies. This involves assessing the health of the UK’s democracy, the nature of its elections as well as an understanding of Human Rights in the UK. When studying political ideologies, students will gain an understanding of the origins of the core political ideas that shape society and government, evaluating and comparing Socialism, Liberalism and Conservatism. This includes looking at the world through each ideology, and considering philosophical questions such as human nature and how much, if any, equality should there be in society.
Paper 2 focuses on the components of UK Government and Feminism. This includes a study of the executive and the legislature as well as other influences on government such as the European Union and the Supreme Court. Students assess how successful each of these are in governing the UK. The study of feminism enables students to understand the concept of a patriarchal society, how women have come together in solidarity to combat it and the extent to which they have achieved their goals. This includes not just a study of feminism, but critiques of it, looking at thinkers such as Bell Hooks and her work on intersectionality.
The last paper is Global Politics. Paper three is a crucial study of the global world, understanding globalisation and debating the extent to which it exists. This topic helps students to gain an understanding of power structures in the world today as well as gain an appreciation for a world outside of Britain.
The A Level is assessed by three 2 hour papers comprised of a range of questions assessing students key political ideas and the ability to use contemporary political developments as examples to support their analysis and evaluations.