This course covers two main aspects; the workings of the British political system at AS followed by a study of political ideologies at A2.
In Year 12 students study the functions of Parliament and the role of political parties in the running of our political system. Issues arise out of this such as the position of our changing constitution, the future of the House of Lords, the issue of an 'elective dictatorship' in the Commons and the pressures caused by membership of the European Union on our parliamentary sovereignty. Democracy and the service elections provides is also scrutinised; questions about Britain's democratic credentials are examined.
By Year 13 the course switches to focus on political ideologies, i.e. political thinking and ways of seeing the world. Are humans naturally selfish and un-trustworthy or are they rational thinkers and lovers of freedom or equality? A comparative study of classic ideologies such as conservatism, socialism and liberalism will be contrasted with alternative ideologies such as nationalism, anarchism and feminism along with new political thinking such as ecologism and multiculturalism.
The course is examined by four written examinations; two in Year 12 and two in Year 13, with a mixture of shorter and longer essay style responses needed.
-Very good command of English -A willingness to read, and read. -An interest in politics and political matters -A willingness and ability to read beyond the subject material -Willingness to keep up to date (daily) with political news -An analytical mind -Evaluative skills -A recognition that the course is not ‘just having a debate’. -A willingness to work hard -An ability to listen and respond
Keep up to date with the latest developments in British Politics, by continually reading/watching BBC Parliament. Make sure you are aware of the core issues facing the government, as well as the ideological direction of each of the major parties. Reading 'A very short introduction to British Politics' is a great place to start. Some interesting documentaries to watch are: Blair: The Inside Story, The British Office of State: The Dark Department, and Taking Liberties
The course is complemented by visits to the Houses of Parliament and outside speakers. In the past students have had visits from Mark Field MP, Karen Buck MP, Alistair Campbell, Lord Peter Walker and have been taught for one lesson by Boris Johnson.
Essentials of UK Politics (AS Level), Andrew Heywood (ISBN: 0230285627 )
Sorry. certain parts of the website do not work with your browser. You are highly recommended to upgrade.