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A level Politics Years 12 & 13

Specification

EDEXCEL - The specification and assessment structure can be found at the link: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/politics-2017.html

Aim

  • Develop knowledge and an informed understanding of contemporary political structures and issues in their historical context, both within the United Kingdom (UK) and globally.
  • Develop a critical awareness of the changing nature of politics and the relationships between political ideas, institutions and processes.
  • Develop knowledge and an informed understanding of the influences and interests which have an impact on decisions in government and politics.
  • Develop knowledge and an informed understanding of the rights and responsibilities of individuals and groups.
  • Develop the ability to critically analyse, interpret and evaluate political information to form arguments and make judgements.
  • Develop an interest in, and engagement with, contemporary politics.

Methods of Teaching & Learning

At A Level pupils will use political terms, concepts and skills and make links and draw comparisons across different political systems.   Students will gain understanding of abstract political concepts through grounding them in contemporary real world examples and case studies that will develop an international awareness and knowledge of multiple perspectives.  Pupils will be taught through a variety of methods, including whole group lectures, as well as tutorial style work for individuals and small groups.  Pupils will be encouraged to learn through independent study.

Qualities and Qualifications Needed to study History In The Sixth Form

It is expected that pupils will have at least a grade 5 in English at GCSE.  Pupils need to be good at essay work, source evaluation and willing to work independently.  The most important quality needed is the willingness to work, ask questions and take ownership of your learning.

Why Study Politics?

We don’t always like politicians and the things that governments do but the business of politics touches every aspect of our lives.  No matter whether government makes you feel angry or reassured, it’s worth having a knowledge of how the whole process works. By studying Politics, you will investigate in detail how people and politics interact.

We live in an increasingly complex world with significant challenges, including global terrorism, poverty, economic instability, weapons proliferation, failing states and environmental degradation. These challenges require global co-operation if they are to be resolved. Global politics gives you an opportunity to develop an understanding of the local, national, international and global dimensions of political activity. It also gives you the opportunity to explore the political issues that affect all of us.

Many students who have taken the A Level in Government and Politics go on to study Politics at university. From there you might become a researcher, join local or national government or even start on the path to become a future Prime Minister! But there are other degree and job options too. If you fancy a career in journalism or law or the media, this course is very useful.

There will be three two hour examinations that will examine the topics given below.

UK Politics

  1. Democracy and participation
  2. Political parties
  3. Electoral systems
  4. Voting behaviour and the media.

UK Government

  1. The constitution
  2. Parliament
  3. Prime Minister and executive
  4. Relationships between the branches.

Political Ideas

  1. Liberalism
  2. Conservatism
  3. Socialism.
  4. Nationalism.

Global Politics

  1. The state and globalisation
  2. Global governance: political and economic
  3. Global governance: human rights and environmental
  4. Power and developments
  5. Regionalism and the European Union
  6. Comparative theories.

Year 12

Subject Area: British and European History

Key topics to be taught this year: The British Empire 1857-1914

Italy and Fascism 1900-1926

Causes of the English Civil War

  Topic Further details about the topic Skills
Autumn Term
1

Democracy and Participation 

Electoral Systems 

Representative and direct democracy 

Debates over widening the suffrage 

Pressure groups 

Rights in context 

Different electoral systems 

Referendums 

Electoral system analysis 

Note making  

Essay writing 

Debate 

Analysis 

Evaluation 

Interpretation of Political Information 

2

Political Parties 

Voting Behaviour and the Media 

Political Parties 

Established parties 

Minor and emerging parties 

Political parties in context 

Case studies of three general elections 

Influence of the media 

As above

Spring Term
1

The Prime Minister and the Executive 

The Constitution 

Structure, role and power of the Executive 

Concept of ministerial responsibility 

The powers of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to dictate events and determine policy 

Nature and sources of UK constitution 

Changes since 1997 

Role and power of devolved institutions 

Debate on further changes to the constitution

As above
2

Parliament 

Relationship Between Branches 

Structure and role of the House of Commons and House of Lords 

Comparative powers of the two houses of parliament 

Legislative process 

How Parliament interacts with the Executive  

The Supreme Court and its interactions with, and influence over, the legislative and policy-making processes. 

The aims, role and impact of the European Union (EU) on UK government. 

The location of sovereignty in the UK political system 

As above

Summer Term
1

Liberalism 

Conservatism  

Core ideas and principles 

Tensions within the ideology 

Key thinkers and their ideas 

As above

2

Socialism 

Non-Core Ideology  

Core ideas and principles 

Tensions within the ideology 

Key thinkers and their ideas 

As above

Year 13

Subject Area: British and European History

Key topics to be taught this year: The British Empire 1914-1967

                                                              Italy and Fascism 1926-1945

  Topic Further details about the topic Skills
Autumn Term
1

The State and Globalisation

The state: nation-state and of national sovereignty. 

The process of globalisation and its impact on the state system 

Debates about the impact of globalisation 

The ways and extent to which globalisation addresses and resolves contemporary issues, such as poverty, conflict, human rights and the environment. 

Note making  

Essay writing 

Debate 

Analysis 

Evaluation 

Interpretation of Political Information 

1 Comparative Theories

Main ideas of realism. 

Main ideas of liberalism 

Divisions between realism and liberalism 

Main ideas of the anarchical society and society of states theory 

An evaluation of the extent to which realism and liberalism explain recent developments (since 2000) in global politics 

As above
2

Global Governance: Political and Economic

United Nations and NATO 

IMF, World Bank, G7/G8/G20, WTO 

Significance of how global economic governance deals with the issue of poverty 

The role and significance of the global civil society and non-state actors, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs) 

As above
2 Global Governance: Human rights and environment

Human rights - Origins and development of international law and institutions (International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court, special UN tribunals and European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in creating the concept of global politics. 

The key issues of these institutions in dealing with human rights 

As above
Spring Term
1

Global Governance: Human rights and environment

The role and significance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

The ways and extent to which these institutions address and resolve contemporary global issues, such as those involving conflict, poverty, human rights and the environment.

As above

1 Power and developments

Different types of power. 

Differing significance of states in global affairs and how and why state power is classified. 

Polarity. 

Different systems of government. 

The ways and extent to which the changing relationships and actions of states in relation to power and developments address and resolve contemporary global issues, such as those involving conflict, poverty, human rights and the environment. 

 
2

Regionalism and the EU

Different forms of regionalism 

Debates about and the reasons for and significance of regionalism. 

Development of regional organisations, excluding the EU. 

Factors that have fostered European integration and the major developments through which this has occurred. 

Significance of the EU as an international body/global actor, including the constraints and obstacles affecting it 

The ways and extent to which regionalism addresses and resolves contemporary global issues involving conflict, poverty, human rights and the environment. 

As above
Summer Term
1

Revision

Revision of both physical and human topics using past papers/question/the revision work booklet and revision booklet

As above

Assessments

Resources Topic Type of assessment
CAT 1 UK politics

1 x 30 mark source essay

1 x 30 mark essay
 

1 x 30 mark source essay

1 x 30 mark essay

CAT 2

UK Government

Essay
CAT 3 Ideologies
UK Politics
UK Government

24 mark essay

 

Formal Examination

CAT 4

Globalisation

Comparative Theories

1 x 12 mark essay

1 x 30 mark essay

 

1 x 12 mark essay

1 x 30 mark essay

CAT 5

UK Politics

UK Government

Ideologies

Global Politics

Formal Examination

Main Resources

Resource Details Term
Set texts

UK Government and Politics and for AS/A-Level by Philip Lynch 

Pearson Edexcel Politics by Sara Jenkins, David Tuck et al 

UK Government and Politics for AS/A-Level by Neil McNaughton 

Political ideas for A Level: Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism, Nationalism, Multiculturalism, Ecologism by Richard Kelly and Neil McNaughton 

1-4 

1-4 

1-4 

5-6

Recommended reading

Politics Review Magazine

A good quality newspaper or news website

The Week Magazine

 
Recommended Websites

www.prechewedpolitics.co.uk 

All
Equipment Writing pen, highlighters, felt tips, crayons, ruler, pencil, lined paper, ring binder folder(s) All

Enrichment opportunities

Activity Day and time or term
   

Where Next