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Exam Board and Specification Codes: Edexcel (9PL0) 

A-Level Politics enables students 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 events and developments impacting on their society. 


What is covered by the course? 

Politics A Level is divided into three modules which together make up the full A-Level course. The first two modules cover the essential characteristics of the UK system of government and politics, along with a study of a range of political ideologies. The third module is comparative; focusing on the characteristics of the US system of government and politics. 

Year 1 

Component 1 - UK Politics 

This component covers the core concepts of Politics and how they are relevant to the UK; 

  • Democracy and Political Participation 
  • Political Parties 
  • Elections and the different electoral systems 
  • Voting Behaviour, including case studies of recent General Elections 
  • Ideologies: liberalism, conservatism, socialism 

Component 2 - UK Government 

This component covers the features of the UK system of government, as well as extending the study of ideologies. 

  • The UK Constitutions; its sources, nature and recent developments 
  • Parliament 
  • The Prime Minister and Cabinet 
  • The Judiciary, relations between the different branches of government 
  • The study of an alternative ideology from a choice of anarchism, ecologism, feminism, multiculturalism or nationalism 
Year 2 

Component 3 - The Politics and Government of the USA 

This component covers the features of the US system, comparing them to the UK system. 

  • The Constitution: key features and principles 
  • Congress: House of Representatives and Senate 
  • The President and Core Executive 
  • The Supreme Court and the Protection of Rights 
  • The roles and functions of elections, political parties, pressure groups 
  • Comparative theories and their application; how different are the UK and US systems of politics and government 

How is it examined? 

Paper 1 - Written Assessment (2 hours) 

  • In Section A (Political Participation), students answer one question from a choice of two based on a source extract and one essay question from a choice of two 
  • In Section B (Core Political Ideas), students answer an essay question from a choice of two 
  • 33.33% of the total A-Level 

Paper 2 - Written Assessment (2 hours) 

  • In Section A (UK Government), students answer one question from a choice of two based on a source extract and one essay question from a choice of two. 
  • In Section B (Non-core Political Ideas), students answer an essay question from a choice of two 
  • 33.33% of the total A-Level 

Paper 3 - Written Assessment (2 hours) 

  • In Section A, students answer one question from a choice of two, which focus on specific aspects of the US system 
  • In Section B, students answer one compulsory question based on comparative theories between the US and UK systems 
  • In Section C, students answer two essay questions from a choice of three, which analyse the US system of government 
  • 33.33% of the total A-Level 

Related university courses & careers? 

Law, History, International Relations, Philosophy, Sociology, Economics. 

Leading to a wide range of careers opportunities such as Journalism and the Media, research for political parties, pressure groups, charities and “think tanks”, international and national consultancy, administration and management 


Suggested literature & resources  

‘Edexcel AS & A Level Politics’ by Andrew Colclough et al. (Pearson; covers all units of the course along with revision, exam practice advice) 
‘UK Government & Politics’ by Neil McNaughton (Hodder Education; covers the UK aspects of the course) 
‘Political Ideas for A-Level’ by Neil McNaughton & Richard Kelly (Hodder Education; covers the ideological aspects of Components 1 and 2) 
‘US Government & Politics’ by Anthony J. Bennett (Hodder Education; covers Component 3 in greater depth) 
The Economist offers reporting & analysis of national & international political developments 
Daily newspapers reporting UK and US politics, notably The Times, The Guardian 


Lower School

Kensington Park School (Years 7-11),
40-44 Bark Place,
London,
W2 4AT

Tel: +44 (0)20 7616 4400


Sixth Form

Kensington Park School Sixth Form,
59 Queen's Gate,
South Kensington, London,
SW7 5JP, UK

Tel: +44 (0)20 7225 0577


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