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Politics A-Level

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What is A-Level Politics?

Politics A-Level will give you a good understanding of the factors that are driving change all around us and how to make a difference yourself. Unless we understand how the government works, we will never be able to play a full and active part in society. We will always be on the receiving end of other people’s wisdom, rather than being in a position to advance our own agenda. The study of politics takes in grand issues of government and of justice, but also takes you behind these formal facades and seeks to understand the crucial questions of where power lies and helps you to understand ‘who gets what, how and why’.

What Will You Study?

Politics Reading List >

Paper 1 – Government and Politics of the UK:

  • The UK Constitution (the rules by which we are governed)
  • Parliament (which makes our laws and represents the views of the people)
  • Prime Minister and Cabinet (who suggest laws to Parliament and implement them once they are passed)
  • The Judiciary (which applies and interprets our laws)
  • Devolution (the process of giving governing power to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as the regions of England)
  • The ways in which ‘ordinary people’ influence politics: democracy and participation, elections and referendums, political parties, and pressure groups

Paper 2 – Government and Politics of the USA and Comparative Politics:

  • The US Constitution (the rules by which the United States is governed)
  • Congress (which makes the USA’s laws and represents the views of the people)
  • The Presidency (which suggests laws to Congress and implements them once they are passed)
  • The Supreme Court (which applies and interprets US laws and decides what is constitutional and what isn’t)
  • The ways in which ‘ordinary people’ influence politics: the electoral process and direct democracy, political parties, pressure groups and civil rights
  • Comparison of all the above to their UK equivalents

Paper 3 – Political ideas:

You will study ideologies (systems of ideas and beliefs which form the basis for political action), including:

  • Liberalism
  • Conservatism
  • Socialism
  • Anarchism

What Next?

The Russell Group Universities regard Politics A-Level as one of the key challenging subjects that allow entry to the most prestigious courses at the undergraduate level. It is seen as a traditional academic subject providing evidence of a student’s ability to produce detailed written arguments, reaching valid judgements based on a strong analysis of supporting evidence. As a result, it is a subject that will help with almost all degrees and it is considered particularly useful for any humanities subject, Modern Foreign Languages & Law.

Exam Board


Entry Requirements

At least five 5’s at GCSE, including at least a 6 in English Language or English Literature.

Have you considered studying a Mixed Programme (A-Levels and Btecs) Whether you’re on target to achieve five 5s in your GCSEs or not there may still be an option to study A-Levels alongside a BTEC qualification at Newman.

Course Type


What other subjects go well with this subject?

Economics, English Literature, English Language, Ethics, Philosophy & Religion Modern Foreign Languages, Geography, History, Law, Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology.

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Cardinal Newman College,
Lark Hill Road, Preston, Lancashire. PR1 4HD