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Politics at KS5

The new Politics A level is a demanding, but exciting, academic course that covers a wide range of theoretical and practical topics relating to the UK political system, global politics, and political theory. The course is academic in focus, but allows much scope for students to develop and debate their own political understanding and to get to grips with the political turmoil and crises of Britain and the world today.

Politics is an increasingly popular A level choice at the Langton, with 88 students currently studying the A level course, and sits very well alongside other humanities subjects and in particular History. Many students every year go on to study Politics at university in the form of International Relations, PPE, joint honours with History, or other combinations.

In terms of skills required, the subject is probably closest to History, revolving around constructing written arguments in response to short answer questions and essays.

Details of the Pearson Edexcel syllabus are as follows:

  1. UK Politics (23.5% of the A level): exploring the nature of politics and how people engage in the political process in the UK. This includes studying:
  • the emergence and development of the UK’s democratic system
  • the role and scope of political parties
  • the electoral systems that operate in the UK
  • why individuals and groups vote as they do
  • the role of the media in contemporary politics
  1. UK Government (23.5% of the A level): exploring the nature of government in the UK – where, how, and by whom political decisions are made. This includes studying:
  • the set of rules governing politics in the UK (the constitution)
  • the powers and roles of the different branches of government
  • recent constitutional change and the desirability of further reform
  • where does sovereignty lie within the UK?
  1. Political ideas (20% of the A level): exploring the key features of a number of core political ideologies and thinkers, including:
  • liberalism
  • socialism
  • conservatism
  • anarchism or feminism
  1. Global politics (33% of the A level): exploring a wide range of issues and challenges that shape politics on a global scale in the 21st century. This includes studying:
  • different theories of international relations
  • sovereignty and the economic, political and cultural impacts of globalisation
  • the history and role of key international organisations such as the UN and NATO
  • global economic issues, poverty, aid, and inequality
  • international law and “humanitarian intervention”
  • global environmental issues
  • power, superpowers, conflict, war and terrorism

The A level is examined via three two-hour written examinations taken at the end of Year 13.