Creating Analytical Thinkers

Exam Board and Specification Codes: Edexcel

Why Study Government and Politics?

A-Level Government and Politics enables pupils to develop their critical thinking skills and enhance their ability to interpret, evaluate and comment on the nature of politics. It allows them to learn to think analytically while remaining aware of their surroundings, external and internal events.

What is Covered by the Course?

The course is broken down into four units. Units One and Two are covered at AS and Units Three and Four are covered at A-Level.

AS:

Unit 1 – People and Politics

This unit introduces pupils to the key channels of communication between government and the people. It encourages them to evaluate the adequacy of existing arrangements for ensuring representative democracy and participation. Moreover, the role of pressure groups as an alternative to party politics is examined.

Unit 2 – Governing the UK

This unit introduces pupils to the major governmental processes within the UK. It encourages them to develop a critical understanding of the role and effectiveness of key institutions, and of the relationship between them in the context of multi-level governance.

A-Level:

Unit 3 – Introducing Political Ideologies

This unit introduces pupils to the main political ideologies such as Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism and Anarchism. It encourages them to analyse and associate classic perspectives of politics with contemporary political systems as well understanding key authors including Marx, Hobbes and Rawls.

Unit 4 – Governing the USA

This unit introduces pupils to the core American political systems and institutions. The presidency, the congress, the constitution and the Supreme Court are explained in association with contemporary political events and the historical foundation of American democracy.

How it is Examined?

Unit 1: 1 x written paper (1hr 20mins). Students answer 2 of 4 structured questions with a tariff of 5, 10 or 25 marks.

Unit 2: 1 x written paper (1hr 20mins). Students answer 1 of 2 stimulus-based questions (mark tariff of 5, 10 or 25 each). Students then answer 1 extended question from a choice of 2 (40 marks).

Unit 3: 1 x written paper (1hr 30mins; 3 short answer questions from choice of 5; 15 marks each). Students then answer 1 of 3 essay questions (45 marks).

Unit 4: 1 x written paper (1hr 30mins; 3 short answer questions from a choice of 5; 15 marks each). Students then answer 1 of 3 essay questions (45 marks).

Related University Courses and Careers?

  • Politics
  • Law
  • International relations
  • Geography
  • Sociology
  • Academia
  • Teaching
  • Development
  • Charities
  • Research
  • International and national consultancy

Suggested Reading:

Daily political newspapers regarding UK and US politics is essential.

AS Level Government and Politics (Nelson Thornes, 2005) – Grant M

Pressure Groups and British Politics (St Martin’s Press, 2000) – Grant W

Edexcel A2 Government & Politics Student Unit Guide: Representative Processes in the USA: Unit 3C – Tremaine Baker

Edexcel Government & Politics for A2: Ideologies – Neil McNaughton

Edexcel Government and Politics for AS 4th Edition (Edexcel for AS) – Neil McNaughton