The first year is an introduction to the political system in Britain. This means you will study the beliefs and values of political parties and how elections are contested. The working of the political institutions such as the Cabinet, Parliament, political parties and elections will be evaluated and students will have the opportunity to discuss and analyse political concepts such as democracy, freedom and rights. The main focus of the second year will either be American politics or global politics, depending on the interests and specialisms of students and teachers.

What skills will I develop?

You will develop an in-depth knowledge of the British political system in the first year, and the American political system in the second year.

In gaining this knowledge, you will hone your note-taking and research skills and apply them to given tasks and assignments.

Equally, you will develop the capacity to advance complex, well evidenced arguments both orally and in writing.

In achieving this you will gain critical evaluation and the necessary understanding of examination technique to ensure your success.

What topics will I study?

Component 1 – Examination: UK Politics (2 hours – 33%)

  • Section A: Political Participation (democracy and participation, political parties, electoral systems, voting behaviour and the media)
  • Section B: Core political ideas (conservatism, liberalism, socialism)

Component 2 – Examination: UK Government (2 hours – 33%)

  • Section A: UK Government (the constitution, parliament, Prime Minister and executive, relationships between the branches)
  • Section B: Non-core political ideas (one from anarchism, ecologism, feminism, multiculturalism, nationalism)

Component 3 – Examination: Comparative Politics (2 hours – 33%)

  • Option A: US Politics (US Constitution and federalism, US Congress, US presidency, US Supreme Court and civil rights, democracy and participation, comparative theories)
  • Option B: Global Politics (sovereignty and globalisation, global governance: political and economic, global governance: human rights and environmental, power and developments, regionalism and the European Union, comparative theories)

Where does the course lead?

This subject helps students gain access to a wide range of career and higher education opportunities. Appreciation of issues such as immigration, civil liberties and protest groups opens up opportunities in the Civil Service, police, customs service and local government.

Exam Board


Head of Department

Leanne Gallagher

Entry Requirements

Five grades 4-9 (or equivalent)

Assessment Breakdown

Examination = 100%