Key Stage 5

Which course is proposed?

We will be following the EDEXCEL GCE specification. More details of the specification can be found at The specification is being tweaked slightly in 2017 – 2018 due to the curriculum-wide government changes.

Why study Politics?

• The opportunity for debate, discussion and argument – politics is exciting because people disagree.

• To gain and understanding the world around you – how your society works.

• The chance to develop your own ideas – no ‘rights’ or ‘wrongs’ in politics, only competing viewpoints.

What will I be covering in the course in Year 12 (AS)?

Unit 1: UK Politics

• democracy and participation – understanding how people get involved in politics in the UK

• political parties – investigating how the main political parties have developed and changed over time

• electoral systems – exploring different methods of voting and analysing their effectiveness

• voting behaviour and the media. – understanding what factors influences people when they vote

Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes   50% of the qualification

Unit 2: UK Government

• the constitution – understanding the rules and conventions that control British politics

• Parliament – evaluating the functions and effectiveness of the House of Commons and the House of Lords

• Prime Minister and executive – investigating the role of the PM and assessing the power of the executive

• relationships between the branches. – exploring how the different sections of government interact with one another

Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes  50% of the qualification

If pupils decide to carry on to study A2 Government and Politics, as with other subjects their AS mark does not count towards their A2 result. Instead, their knowledge of Units 1 and 2 is revisited in Year 13, and developed in complexity. Exams are then sat for Units 1 and 2, along with a new unit; Unit 3, at the end of Year 13.



What will I be covering in the course in Year 13 (A2)?

Unit 1: UK Politics

Political Participation, students will study:

• democracy and participation, political parties, electoral systems, voting behaviour and the media.

Core Political Ideas, students will study:

• conservatism, liberalism, socialism.

Written examination: 2 hours 33⅓ % of the qualification

Unit 2: UK Government

UK Government, students will study:

• the constitution, parliament, Prime Minister and executive, relationships between the branches.

Optional Political Ideas, students will study:

• one idea from the following: anarchism, ecologism, feminism, multiculturalism, nationalism.

Written examination: 2 hours  33⅓ % of the qualification

Unit 3: Comparative Politics

A detailed investigation into the nature of global politics, exploring the role of different world actors and the global issues they manage

• theories of Global Politics, sovereignty and globalisation, global governance: political and economic, global governance: human rights and environmental, power and developments, regionalism and the European Union.

Written examination: 2 hours  33⅓ % of the qualification

How will I be taught? 

Government and Politics is a subject which draws a great deal upon the developments of the present and recent past and is being constantly updated. We will make good use of a variety of textbooks but also rely on the use of TV, radio and the press. The course is designed to encourage you to analyse and criticise and we therefore promote active discussion to develop an understanding of what has been read, seen and heard. Likewise, you will have opportunities for individual research of various kinds and will be able to present work in a variety of ways e.g. talks and wall presentations, not just essays!

What can I do with this subject?

Higher Education/Career Implications

Government and Politics would be a suitable course for you if you would like to keep your options open for further study – politics can be a useful choice for a wide range of careers and can be combined with a large number of social science and humanities subjects at university level.


This Key Stage is delivered across two years at two levels.