Government and Politics: Curriculum
The new Politics A level (Edexcel)
As from September 2017, the department will be introducing the new Politics A level as part of the final phase of curriculum reform at GCE. The focus of the AS course is on British Politics. It consists of two examined units which will be taken the end of the lower sixth. Unit 1 focuses on popular engagement with the political process and Unit 2 on structures and powers within the British political system. A willingness to keep up to date with current affairs is an essential prerequisite. This is because the course is based on a crucial evaluation of contemporary political structures and debates. Assessment is by a mixture of short and extended answers and there will be requirement to consider and debate the competing perspectives on which political argument is based.
Students who follow the full A level will be required to study additional topics in four ideological traditions – Liberalism, Socialism and Conservatism are compulsory but in addition a further ideological tradition will be selected from Feminism, Nationalism, Anarchism, Ecologism and Multiculturalism. Students will also study a paper on Global Politics which explores themes in international relations and governance. Assessment is based on two examinations at the end of the upper sixth. Questions types are based on short and extended answers and stimulus material.
Students who started the course in September 2016 will continue to follow the pre reformed syllabus (Edexcel). Having taken papers in British Politics at AS, those who continue onto A2 will take two papers in ideologies: Unit 3 (Introducing Ideologies) and Unit 4 (Other Ideological Traditions).