Government and Politics AS/A Level

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Description

Curriculum Area: Humanities

Government and Politics AS/A Level

With Gordon gone, and the UK about to move into the (relatively) unfamiliar territory of coalition governments, there could be no better time to study Politics: will Cameron cave in to Welsh and Scottish demands for independence, allow universities to apply market forces to their admissions processes, and really start to hug hoodies? Recent American foreign policy has been based on the premise that having been late for two world wars they want to be really on time for the next one; can Obama negate Iran's nuclear plans, or will he be forced to bow to his Jewish lobby and back Netanyahu in a pre-emptive strike..? Can he "do a Gor…

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Curriculum Area: Humanities

Government and Politics AS/A Level

With Gordon gone, and the UK about to move into the (relatively) unfamiliar territory of coalition governments, there could be no better time to study Politics: will Cameron cave in to Welsh and Scottish demands for independence, allow universities to apply market forces to their admissions processes, and really start to hug hoodies? Recent American foreign policy has been based on the premise that having been late for two world wars they want to be really on time for the next one; can Obama negate Iran's nuclear plans, or will he be forced to bow to his Jewish lobby and back Netanyahu in a pre-emptive strike..? Can he "do a Gordon" and "save the world”?

If you have a point of view, are not afraid to share it, and keep yourself informed about recent political developments, this course would entertain, inform, amuse, and educate. Literary-based, studies will involve significant reading and writing. For those with a mind, it’s a must.

Prepare to have your cynicism raised and your idealism crushed as you negotiate a 4-module, examination assessed, rollercoaster ride through our murky political landscape.

AS (year 1) and A2 (year 2) Level units of study (each unit represents 25% of the overall examination award)

AS Unit 1: Contemporary Politics of the UK Political Parties, party systems, and party ideology; Pressure Groups; electoral systems, parliamentary elections, voting behaviour AS Unit 2: Contemporary Government of the UK Composition, role and power of the executive and legislative branches; the judiciary, constitution, rights of the individual; the EU A2 Unit 1: Contemporary US Government and Politics US Constitution; legislature; executive; judiciary; electoral representation and participation A2 Unit 2: US Government and Politics comparing and contrasting UK, US and European political systems; and others where applicable

A fascinating part of the course is the ritual slaughtering of an MP that takes place yearly in around October when we visit Westminster.

All students have an interest in politics; we have lively discussions/debates. It’s fascinating to see the subject develop in the light of new developments, and in turn be able to better understand how we are governed.

Providing you have an interest in politics and political thought, this course will prove entertaining and interesting, make you think about and discuss issues such as representation and the conferring and use of political power. Like all subjects there are dry, slow parts, but it’s more than worth it in the end.

The quality of classroom debate is perhaps the most endearing part of this course; a level of sophistication of informed and independently minded students make this one of the most interesting subjects available, provided that you already have an interest in the political world.

The tutor uses the ancient dialectical method practised by Socrates: by asking a series of questions, answers are teased out of you that you never knew you had. It really makes you think!

Methods of Teaching and Learning

The course is taught by well-qualified and experienced staff and students are provided with handouts for all topics. Teaching methods include lectures, case studies, discussions in large and small groups and some presentations by students. Students are expected to undertake background reading, write regular essays and short answers and complete data response solutions. Up to date study packs are issued throughout the course.

Methods of Assessment

The assessment is based on timed written examination papers either short answers, data response or essays. The AS qualifications based on two papers, each lasting 90 minutes, taken in January and June of the first year. The A-Level assessment is based on the two AS papers plus another two papers lasting 2 hours taken in January and June of the second year.

Resources

Students are provided with appropriate textbooks on loan for the duration of the course. The College Library is well stocked with relevant books and students are encouraged to make use of internal and external Internet resources.

Progression

A Level Politics provides a good basis for university degree courses in Political Studies, European Studies, Philosophy, Public Administration, Social Science, Economics and Law. In addition, career prospects are opened up in local government departments, the civil service, the legal system, management and teaching.

Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirement is 5 GCSEs at Grade C or above or the equivalent from four subject areas including GCSE English. A reasonable fluency and accuracy in spoken and written English are necessary if students are to do well. Students will be expected to have a desire to learn more about political ideas and have an interest in the ways in which we are governed.

Charges

There are no charges payable in connection with this course, except for any optional visits a student may wish to take part in.

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