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Why study Politics?

Political awareness is growing in the UK. Recent and divisive issues such as the decision to leave the European Union, the re-emergence of a socialist Labour Party and with it a return to adversarial politics have been matched with broader questions over gender equality, race relations and relative poverty.  Against this backdrop the study of politics is more relevant today than it has ever been and students are always drawn to the subject because of its unique ability to focus on current political issues as well as the past.  No subject is quite like government and politics for introducing and engaging students with issues that impact their own lives on a daily basis.  How much power should the government hold?  Are our rights adequately protected? Should there be changes to our democratic system?

Oliver Bell
Head of Politics

About the Course

This course comprises the theoretical analysis of the interaction between human beings within domestic society and between states.

The first year focuses on the structures and processes within the British political system. The first unit includes the role of democracy and participation, the operation of different electoral systems throughout the UK, the policies of the main political parties and the role of pressure groups. It is an exciting time to be studying politics due to the changing political landscape and the rapid change within and between political parties. The second unit focuses on the structure of the British political system in terms of the constitution, the role of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, and the role of the judiciary. The second year focuses on the relationship between sovereign states, in a system where there is no superior authority over matters which they consider of vital interest. It analyses the nature of this system – the rules and forces governing the behaviour of states, the factors that lead to military conflict or peaceful cooperation, and the current trends towards both a more integrated and a more fragmented world.

You will study the effectiveness of the United Nations Security Council, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. You will analyse the changing character of warfare and terrorism including the rise of Al-Qaeda and ISIL/Daesh. You will also look at the impact of globalisation on international economic development and international human rights. This course is particularly suitable for students who have a keen interest in domestic and international affairs, and those who would like to study courses such as philosophy, politics and economics (PPE), international relations and history at university.

Examination Board

Pearson Edexcel

Course Structure

  • Unit 1 UK Politics
  • Unit 2 UK Government
  • Unit 3 Comparative Politics