Following recent changes to the A-Level, Politics has been restructured to take into account the ever changing nature of both domestic politics and international relations. There are three exam units covered by the new Edexcel Politics specification. Two of the three units focus on Britain and domestic politics while the third focuses on global politics.
Unit 1 – UK Politics
The first examined unit is worth 33.3% of the overall A-Level grade and focuses specifically on politics within the UK. With this unit students will be introduced to political participation in the UK by studying how democracy has been put into practice and what affects participation. Students will also learn about political parties, the various electoral systems we use in the UK, voting behaviour and the media. Alongside this, the unit contains the core political ideologies of conservatism, socialism and liberalism and how they have and continue to influence politics in the UK. The exam will take place at the end of the second year and is two hours long.
Unit 2 – UK Government
For the second of the three examined units, students will begin to see how the political parties and ideologies they have learned about have been applied in the United Kingdom. As part of this students will study the UK constitution and its origins and makeup as well as both the House of Commons and House of Lords and the offices within parliament, the role of the Prime Minister and the executive and the relationships between the different branches of government. We will also study feminism as a political idea and look at how it has been treated politically historically and contemporaneously. As with the previous unit, this one is worth 33.3% of the overall A-Level grade and is assessed through a two hour written examination at the end of the second year.
Unit 3 – Global Politics
For the third and final exam unit, students will focus on global politics and comparative theories. This unit, which like the other two, is worth 33.3% of the overall grade, covers a variety of global political issues. We begin with the idea of sovereignty and look at how it has been impacted by globalization before moving on to global governance. For global governance we focus on the political and economic sphere, human rights and environmental sphere, power and developments, regionalism and the European Union. Finally, as part of this unit, we focus on comparative theories wherein we can look at the UK political and governance systems and compare them to those of other countries and regions in the world. The exam for this unit is also two hours but is structured differently in that there are two shorter-answer essays and one longer essay.
Level 3 Entry requirements
Students who take politics are expected to be informed of current events both at home, in the UK and abroad. Each student is responsible for maintaining a blog through Google Blogger and for sharing interesting political news stories they have come across as well as for commenting on each other’s blogs and the blog maintained by the Politics Department. Students are expected to either purchase their own copy of the textbook published by Pearson and endorsed by Edexcel. The book can be purchased online for £35 or ordered through a local bookstore using the ISBN: 978-1292187020. For students who are unable to purchase a copy a reference copy will be available for use in the school Library.
Studying Politics enables students to develop a wide range of highly valued skills including the ability to comprehend, synthesise and interpret information; analyse and evaluate knowledge; identify connections, similarities and differences between the areas studied; select relevant material and construct and communicate arguments clearly and coherently using appropriate vocabulary. Politics A-Level students choose a wide range of degree courses including: Public Policy, International Relations, Law, PPE, SPS and Management as well as Politics itself and double honours programs where Politics is linked with another topic.
Course contact: Mrs R. Vaughan – firstname.lastname@example.org
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