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Government and Politics

 

Government and Politics is a fascinating and constantly changing subject that challenges students' ideas about how democracy works in theory and practice.

By studying this subject at AS level, students will learn about how government is organised in the UK in theory and how politics actually works in practice. Students are asked to cast a critical eye over what they learn to form arguments for and against reform.

At 18, students leave school and immediately become part of the electorate. In 2011 the electorate were asked, through the mechanism of a referendum, to vote on whether the voting system of the UK should be changed. The study of Government and Politics allows people to make informed decisions rather than basing their vote on rhetoric and media influence. We are all subject to the constitution of this country, but how many of us really understand the difference between codified and uncodified constitutions? These are only two examples out of hundreds that allow students to become educated and responsible citizens after studying Government and Politics.

 Skills in research are crucial and students are required to engage in independent study. They are encouraged to challenge their own beliefs and to develop skills of empathy and persuasive argument as well as a sense that arguments must be balanced before conclusions are made. Students learn how to approach short structured questions, how to study stimulus material and how to structure essays. The expectation is that students develop an extensive knowledge of current affairs and build up real examples that they can apply to understanding their own lives and to relate to issues in other subjects.

 The subject would suit anyone with an interest in current affairs who is keen to learn more. Students need to be prepared to stay up-to-date using newspapers, magazines and documentaries and to be prepared to discuss politics and to listen and try to understand others' views.

Course structure and examinations

AS


Unit 1- People and Politics (British Politics)
(Democracy and Political Participation, Elections, Political Parties and Pressure Groups)

 

Assessment:

Written examination: 1 hour 20 minutes

Students will be required to answer to structured questions from a choice of four.

Each question will have a mark tariff of 5,10 and 25 marks.

 

Unit 2 - Governing the UK
(Constitution, Parliament, Prime Minister and Cabinet and Judiciary and Civil Liberties)

 

Assessment:

Written examination: 1 hour 20 minutes

Students will be required to answer one stimulus-based question from a choice of 2. These questions will be structured with a mark tariff of 5,10 and 25 marks.

Students will then be required to answer one extended question from a choice of two ( 40 marks ).

 

A2


Unit 3 - Key Themes in Political Analysis

Topic C: Representative Processes in the USA (Political Parties, Elections, Pressure Groups and Racial and Ethnic Politics)

Unit 4 - Extended Themes in Political Analysis

Topic C: Governing the USA (Constitution, Congress, Presidency and Supreme Court)

 

Assessment:

2 x Written examinations: 1 hour 30 minutes each.

Students must take one topic. For each topic, students are required to answer three short answer questions from a choice of five (15 marks each).

Students are then required to answer one essay question from a choice of three (45 marks).

 

Evidence

 

Examination results in Government and Politics at Kent College impressive with many students choosing to pursue degrees in Politics, or with a Politics subsidiary at top UK universities. Politics students at KC have been praised for their ability to effectively debate information, write analytically and understand the major issues affecting the United Kingdom today. We expect great things from our Politics graduates. Any of the current AS and A2 students would be delighted to talk to you about the course, and what you can expect from it. Otherwise, please feel free to come and speak to me at any time, or email with any questions you may have.

 

Mrs Abigail Wharton
whartona@kentcollege.kent.sch.uk 

 

 

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