A-level Government and Politics


The French philosopher, Michele Foucault, wrote that ‘everything is political.’ In many ways he was right, politics is really about the existence of power relations, which occur in every aspect of life. The questions we need to ask ourselves in politics are: who has power? Who gave them that power? Are they right in exercising that power? Perhaps most importantly, how can we remove people from power?

Course type

A-level (AS and A2)

Course length

AS-level: one year, A-level: two years.

Required qualifications

Five or more A*-C grades at GCSE, including English Language (grade 9-5).

What will I study?

The AS-level course will focus on two units in British politics:

  • The meaning of democracy, the ideological roots of political parties and the politics of protest
  • the British constitution, the effectiveness of parliament and the powers of the Prime Minister

At A2 you will focus on:

  • political ideology – you will study the great ‘isms’: socialism, liberalism, conservatism and anarchism,
  • politics and identity: feminism, nationalism, ecology, multiculturalism

On the course you will:

  • develop critical thinking skills
  • formulate argument both written and oral
  • develop reading and essay writing skills
  • become knowledgeable in current affairs and political news

Method of assessment

You will be assessed through two examinations each year In addition, you are expected to write essays throughout the year.

What will I be able to progress to?

Government and Politics is a challenging, but rewarding, subject that many universities have put on their lists as a preferred subject. There are a range of degree courses that come under Political Science, including Politics, International Relations, International Development and Political Theory. Studying this course can lead to a vast range of career paths, including government, pressure groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), journalism and the media, education, international diplomacy and law, to name but a few.