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Subject Area: Humanities
Level: TWO-YEAR A Level
Exam Board: Edexcel/Pearson
Syllabus No:

What do I need to study this course?

To study A level Politics you must have an interest in, and some knowledge of, current affairs and politics. You must be keen to know more about the subject and to fully engage with the news media, following current affairs closely. You must meet the general Notre Dame entry requirements, including GCSE English at grade 4 or above.

What will I study?

An A level in politics will encourage you to develop knowledge and an informed understanding of contemporary political structures and issues in their historical context, both within the United Kingdom and globally.

You will gain a critical awareness of the changing nature of politics and the relationships between political ideas, institutions and processes.

You will also study the influences and interests which have an impact on decisions in government and politics, and the rights and responsibilities of individuals and groups. In order to understand contemporary politics in detail, you will study the historical development of government and politics in the UK.

Government in the UK:

  • The nature and main sources of the British constitution; the structure, role and powers of Parliament; the accountability of the government to Parliament; the concepts of collective and individual ministerial responsibility; the Supreme Court and its interactions with and influence over legislation and policy; the impact of devolution on the UK.
  • The importance and influence of the UK’s relationship with the EU.

Political participation in the UK:

  • Democracy and participation, elections, voting, political parties, pressure groups and citizens rights.
  • The historical development of political participation.

Political ideas:

  • The core ideologies of liberalism, conservatism and socialism, as well as an additional look at anarchism.

Global politics:

  • The key concepts, structures of, and influences on global politics.
  • The ways and extent to which contemporary global issues, such as conflict, poverty, human rights and the environment are affected by global governance, developments in global politics, globalisation and regionalism.
  • The divisions between realism and liberalism, the ideas of an anarchic international system and a society of states, and an evaluation of the extent to which they explain recent developments in global politics.

What next?

Many of our students move on to study a degree in politics at prestigious universities including the London School of Economics, Durham, Bath, Sheffield and York. A level Politics is prized by universities and employers thanks to the excellent academic skills the course develops, particularly relating to research, analysis and presentation. Politics students often go into journalism, business, law, public relations, the Civil Service and teaching. They may also work for political parties, charities, and NGOs like Friends of the Earth, or even the United Nations or the European Union.

Did you know?

There are purple ribbons attached to the coat-hangers in the members’ cloakroom, allowing MPs to hang up their swords as well as their coats. At least one MP still takes advantage of this.

Click here to view our A level Politics flyer.

Click here to go to this course on UCAS Progress.