What is Politics?

The Politics course looks at the UK political system, including the role of Parliament, the Prime Minister, local government, parties, electoral systems and their development, and political participation. Political ideologies are explored, from socialism to conservatism, liberalism to feminism. Students will also conduct case studies of three UK general elections. When studying the USA, students will examine the role of Congress, Senate, the President, and the Supreme Court alongside the impact of federalism on the US constitution. US political parties are also studied.

How is it studied?

Edexcel A-Level Politics is taught within the two-year programme.

Students use a variety of materials to explore the political systems and realities of the UK and the USA. A fundamental understanding of the constitutions of both countries is developed and this is used to explore historical and contemporary issues that influenced those systems and the politics of each country. Students also explore the development of feminism in politics. Though a mixture of textbooks, contemporary articles, newspapers, documentaries and news reports, students build their knowledge of events and political developments. Students are taught how to write analytical essays, how to structure answers, and how to respond to a variety of sources and interpretations.

How is A-Level Politics assessed?

Unit Modules Weighting Format
1 UK Politics 33% External Exam: 2 hours
2 UK Government 33% External Exam: 2 hours
3 USA Politics 33% External Exam: 2 hours

Exam Board: Edexcel

What do I need?

5 GCSEs grade 5 or above including Maths and English or equivalent international qualifications.

For international students who have taken IELTS, we require an overall score of 5.5 with a minimum of 5.5 for each of the reading and writing components.

For international students who have taken IGCSE English (Second Language), we require grade 5 or above.

There is no need to have studied politics previously, but students need to have an interest in UK and US politics and to be interested in political ideologies. An enthusiasm for current affairs is an enormous help, as students are expected to have a good understanding of the key political issues affecting the UK and USA.

What should I study with Politics?

Politics complements a broad variety of subjects in the social sciences, humanities and arts. However, popular combinations include:

Politics, Economics, Psychology

History, Politics, Economics

Sociology, Politics, Economics

Mathematics, Economics, Politics


What can I do with A-Level Politics?

Many students go on to study Politics at university, either on its own or in combination with other subjects such as Philosophy and Economics. The subject also supports a broad range of applications, as an understanding of the contemporary world open up many other options at university.

Questions about the course

Is it possible to study Politics in one year?