POLITICS A LEVEL

PHS/WES

Exam board: EDEXCEL

QUALIFICATIONS NEEDED TO START THE COURSE

General qualifications for your chosen pathway (see What to study/LaSWAP pathways)

6 or above in English language 

An interest in current affairs.

 

To help you decide whether this course subject is for you, consider the following questions. As a result you might feel that the course is not for you or it definitely is for you. Alternatively, the questions might stimulate you to do further research or test out trying something new.

  • What is it about current affairs that is of interest to you?
  • Would you consider extended and essay writing one of your strengths? How do you ensure an essay is good quality?
  • When you turn 18 will you vote? If so, why? If not, why not?

 

YEAR 12 COURSE SPECIFICATION

It may be awarded as a discrete qualification, or it may be the first half of a full A level qualification in politics. There is no coursework option in politics. The AS level requires that students sit two 80 minute papers.

The three taught topics on Paper 1 are:

  1. a) Democracy and political participation

For example, is giving the state the power to prevent prisoners from voting in elections consistent with liberal democracy?

  1. b) Party policies and ideas

For example, are the similarities between the main parties more significant their differences?

  1. c) Pressure groups

For example, to what extent has the pressure group the CBI been more successful than others? Why have they been successful/unsuccessful?

 

Students are required to answer two structured questions from a choice of four.
Each question has a mark tariff of 5, 10 and 25 marks.

Paper 1 contains 25% of the total A level marks

Paper 2: Governing the UK contains 25% of the A level marks

The four topics on Paper 2 are:

  1. a) Constitutional theory
    For example, does the UK require an entrenched Bill of Rights to protect individual rights?
  2. b) Parliament
    For example, does Parliament provide sufficient scrutiny of the government?
  3. c) The Prime Minister and Cabinet
    For example, is the UK PM effectively a president?
  4. d) Judges and civil liberties
    For example, do British judges adequately protect civil liberties?

Students are required to answer one data response question based from a choice of two.
These questions will be structured with a mark tariff of 5, 10 and 25 marks.

Students have also to attempt one extended question from a choice of two (40 marks).

YEAR 13 COURSE SPECIFICATION

I

In year 13 the A level comprises a further 2 exam papers on political ideologies:

Paper 3: Introducing Political Ideologies. (1 hour 30 min)

The four topics on Paper 3 are:

  1. a) Liberalism
    Key concepts include: individualism, freedom, justice, rationalism, equality, liberal democracy, constitutionalism and consent.
  2. b) Conservatism
    Key concepts include: tradition, organic society, hierarchy, authority, property, paternalism, libertarianism, authoritarianism, neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism.
  3. c) Socialism
    Key concepts include: co-operation, fraternity, collectivism, social equality, communism, social democracy, social justice and the third way.
  4. d) Anarchism
    Key concepts include: autonomy, utopianism, mutualism, egoism, anarcho-communism, anarcho-capitalism and anarcho-syndicalism.

 

Students are required to answer three short answer questions from a choice of five, containing 15 marks each.
Students have also to attempt one essay question from a choice of three (45 marks).

Paper 4: Other Ideological Traditions. (1 hour 30 min)

The four topics on Paper 4 are:

  1. a) Nationalism
    Key concepts include: the nation, nation-states, racialism, patriotism and national self-determination
  2. b) Feminism
    Key concepts include: sex/gender, gender equality, patriarchy, the public/private divide and essentialism
  3. c) Ecologism
    Key concepts include: ecology, hard/soft ecology, deep/shallow ecology, environmentalism, holism, sustainability, self-actualization, social ecology and anthropocentrism.
  4. d) Multiculturalism
    Key concepts include: communitarianism, post-colonianism, identity politics, minority rights, toleration, diversity, pluralism and cosmopolitanism.

 

Students are required to answer three short answer questions from a choice of five, containing 15 marks each.
Students have also to attempt one essay question from a choice of three (45 marks).

 

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LEARNING AND SKILLS

Home works tend to involve timed essays under exam conditions. Lessons will include both teacher information exchanges with students and students discovering information via debate and task-based sessions. The course has to accommodate contemporary events. Therefore newspaper articles and videos are prominent resources.

 

EXAMINATION AND ASSESSMENT

 

Units Type of Assessment Duration Weighting
Exam  80 minutes 25%
2 Exam 80 minutes 25%
3 Exam 90 minutes 25%
4 Exam 90 minutes 25%

 

 

FUTURE PROSPECTS

Politics related degrees include international relations, international politics, European politics and PPE (politics, philosophy and economics). The debating skills developed on the course prepare students well for any communication related degree.

Politics is linked to a diverse range of occupations, some of which make direct use of the knowledge of politics or well developed communication skills such as the civil service, local government management and journalism.