Exam Board: AQA


The aims of the course are as follows:

  • Develop knowledge and an informed understanding of contemporary political structures and issues in their historical context, both within the 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 and 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.

Entry Requirements

Students should have Grade 4 or higher in GCSE English and Mathematics, or the equivalent grade/mark in their national system of secondary education.

Course Structure

Year 1

Overview and introduction to:

  • Government and politics of the UK.
  • Government and politics of the USA and comparative politics.
  • Political idea

Year 2

Detailed study of a number of specific issues drawn from the three main topics, with an explicit consideration of theoretical approaches (structural, rational and cultural) and a requirement to engage with a synoptic style when writing essays.


The A Level is assessed with three two-hour examinations, equally weighted using a mixture of medium-length ‘explain’ and essay style questions.

Core Text

  • UK Government and Politics, published by Hodder Education.
  • US Government and Politics, published by Hodder Education.
  • Political Ideas (Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism and Nationalism), published by Hodder Education.

Careers and Opportunities

Politics combines very strongly with a number of subjects including English, History, Economics and Sociology. Students who have studied Politics often go on to study Humanities subjects at university or study for a Law degree. Students with an A Level in Politics are to be found working in the civil service, local government, universities, schools, legal firms, newspapers, the broadcast media, parliament and in administrative, promotional and personnel roles in a range of commercial organisations.