Why study Politics at A Level?

Politics affects almost every aspect of our lives, and the various dramatic events of 2015/16 in the UK demonstrate the importance of Politics to us all. Studying the nature of the UK’s political system and the key ideas and ideologies which have shaped political thought enables our scholars to better understand and effectively engage with contemporary political developments. The study of Politics is multi-disciplinary, bringing together a range of analytical and evaluative skills as well as diverse subjects such as history, geography, philosophy, psychology and statistics. 

What do you study?

We follow the Edexcel Government and Politics course at A-Level. At AS Level pupils study the nature of the UK’s political system. Unit 1 examines the different ways in which people engage with the political system, such as elections, referenda and pressure groups. In Unit 2 pupils study the structure of the UK political system, exploring the nature of the Constitution, the functions and powers of key institutions such as the Government, Parliament and the Judiciary and the development of multi-level governance through devolution and Britain’s membership of the EU. At A2 pupils move on to look at a number of different political ideologies, such as Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism, Feminism and Anarchism, studying their major concepts and thinkers and considering their development and application.

If you have an interest in current affairs, enjoy reading the news, analysing different opinions and engaging in debate and discussion then Politics is certainly the right choice. As well as classroom study, Politics students are fully engaged with real-world political developments and the Department arranges a wide range of extra-curricular activities to encourage scholars to examine issues beyond the syllabus. You can get a flavour of some of these recent activities from our Department blog.

What opportunities does the course offer?

  • Regular contact with national politicians through the Politics Society. In recent years pupils have met Gordon Brown, William Hague, Tony Benn and David Blunkett. They have had opportunities to visit Parliament and have also heard talks by Cabinet members such as Vince Cable.
  • We have a very good relationship with our local MP, Martin Horwood. He is generous with his time and has offered a number of our scholars the opportunity to gain work experience both in Cheltenham and in Westminster.