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The Politics A Level course is lively, relevant and controversial. Covering news and current affairs from the UK and USA, it helps you to understand how the UK is run and develops research, written communication and debating skills. It also helps to develop your confidence as it enables you to participate in an informed way in discussion on current issues.
It provides an excellent introduction to the study of politics, sociology, ethics, advertising or journalism at university and is highly regarded by employers in industries including politics, international organisations, the media, government and civil service.
Head of Department
Mrs A Wells
Dr E Pickles
There are three components to the A Level course, each carrying equal weight:
- Government and politics of the UK
- Government and politics of the USA and comparative politics
- Political ideas: liberalism, conservatism, socialism and nationalism
There are three assessment objectives for the AQA A Level course:
- AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of political institutions, processes, concepts, theories and issues (30-40%)
- AO2: Analyse aspects of politics and political information, including in relation to parallels, connections, similarities and differences (35-45%)
- AO3: Evaluate aspects of politics and political information, including to construct arguments, make substantiated judgements and draw conclusions (25-35%)
The examination consists of three two-hour papers, each dealing with one component and consisting of a mixture of short-answer and extended response essay questions.
Regular homework assignments and timed questions are set and students are given feedback based on the assessment criteria of the examination board. Students are encouraged to use this to set their own targets for development and then to monitor their achievements in addressing these.
The assessments set throughout the course are designed to allow students to practise the skills needed for the final examinations. The A level grade is based entirely on the three examinations sat at the end of Year 13.
Practice assessments will be returned to students within two weeks indicating strengths and weaknesses. Students are encouraged to use this to set their own targets for the next piece of work.
Please click here for the AQA A Level Politics mark schemes
Please click here for the AQA A Level Politics specification
Students who are successful in the A Level Politics course are willing to extend their knowledge and deepen their understanding through wider reading. It is particularly important for the Politics of the UK and USA components that students follow the news and read articles on current issues. Students need to develop efficient note-making systems and to be well organised. They also need to be ready to contribute ideas and insights in class as the quality of class discussions makes a significant contribution to the achievement of members of the group.
Please click here for the AQA A Level Politics past papers
- Central and local government
- Civil service
- International organisations
Amongst the group who completed their Politics A Level in 2016, students obtained places on the following degree courses: Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford, Politics and International Studies at Warwick, Politics at Queen Mary College, London, Politics and International Relations at Loughborough, Politics at Kent, Accounting, Finance and Economics at Kent and American History at East Anglia.
There is a fortnightly discussion group called ‘History and Current Affairs’ in the lunch-hour. Groups of students lead the discussions on events of current interest, considering how far historical developments can shed light on them.
Trips and visits
A visit is organised to the Supreme Court and the Houses of Parliament during the study of UK Government and Politics.
On 24 January 2017, the Year 12 Politics groups visited the Supreme Court and Houses of Parliament. This was the day that the Supreme Court announced its decision on the Brexit case.