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Government & Politics

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The Subject

The teaching of Politics at Collingham centres on discussion and analysis, and provides a disciplined training for all humanities courses at university, while giving a particular insight into current affairs and political systems.  

Why study Politics?

  • Will the Coalition Government last? 
  • Do the main parties stand for fundamentally different values any more?
  • Should our electoral system be changed to reflect the fact that more and more people are voting for parties other than Labour and Conservative?

A level Government and Politics is much more than a solid grounding in how the British political system operates. It tackles the key debates about institutions, issues and ideas reflected in Parliament and the media.

As a Politics student, you would look at the ideologies, policies and organisation of the main political parties, the role of pressure groups and elections in a democracy, and how the main parts of the state fit together – monarchy, Prime Minister, Cabinet, devolution, Parliament, local government, judiciary and, of course, the European Union. For the full A level, you would also study the political system of the United States.

Politics combines well with most other subjects and no GCSE background is needed. Ideally you would have a reasonable knowledge of current affairs and a genuine interest in political ideas and debate. Regular reading of a quality newspaper is at least as important as a good textbook, and this is reflected in the approach to teaching – especially for two-year students, where there is plenty of scope for focus on political debate and current affairs developments.

"Dear Mike (Tutor),

I just wanted to say a big thank you for preparing me so well for my Politics retakes in June.  Although I thought I had done quite well, I never expected to have scored so highly and I am very grateful to you for all your effort towards the exams, because I am certain that without it, I would not be in this position today!!"

STUDENT, A* Government and Politics

The Course

We teach the Edexcel syllabus, which has the advantage of no coursework. End-of-year exams ask a variety of short definitional questions and longer questions in data analysis and essay format. The whole A level syllabus can be easily managed in one year if you are knowledgeable and prepared to work hard, but the new specification has the advantage of a one-year AS level course in British politics, with an option of going on to study American politics for the full A level at the end of the second year.

A level Politics is excellent preparation for a degree in Politics and related courses, but it is also a good choice if you simply want to keep your options open. It can lead on to a wide choice of careers and can be combined with a wide range of social science and humanities subjects.  

Preferred Board: Edexcel

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