2 Years


Level 3

Career Sector


Available At


Start Date


Course overview

A-Level Politics will develop your understanding of the main political ideas, issues and institutions which shape our world.

This is a linear, two year course that is essay and examination based. In year one you will consider questions about modern UK politics, including:

  • How democratic is the UK?
  • What political parties are there in the UK and how have they developed over time
  • How is the UK governed?
  • Is the Prime Minister effectively a President?
  • To what extend does the media have an impact on voting habits?

You will also learn about political theory, including conservatism, socialism and liberalism.

In year two you will look at global politics; reflecting on the most pressing issues and common structures. You will answer questions on global political issues such as:

  • To what extend has globalisation shaped international politics?
  • Whether the EU had global significance or not.
  • Whether military power is still significant in international politics.

You will also cover additional political theory, such as nationalism.

Entry requirements

  • Average point score* of 4.5 or above, calculated from all GCSE subjects. Your point score MUST include at least five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above - including English Language or Maths
    • If your English Language is a D/3, your Maths must be at least a C/4 and vice versa
  • Grade C/5 or above in GCSE English Language
  • Grade C/5 or above in a humanities based GCSE subject.

What will I study?

The course is over two year and within those tow years you will be taught details on the following topics. We study the Edexcel syllabus which results in three, three hour exams at the of the two years of study. The content includes:

UK Politics

  • Democracy - what is it and how is to exhibited?
  • The principles of political parties - where they came from and what makes them what they are.
  • Different electoral systems - including our current First Past the Post system and alternatives.
  • Impacts on voting behaviours, including the influence of the media.

Political ideas

  • Liberalism; Conservatism; Socialism; Nationalism.

UK Government

  • The UK constitution - whether we have one and if not whether we should adopt one.
  • The Prime Minister and Executive - powers over time and constraints on their power.
  • Parliament - the role of Parliament (a trip to Parliament will be included around the time of studying this).
  • The relations between the institutions - how each interact to make the UK system work.

Global politics

  • Theories of global politics.
  • Sovereignty and globalisation.
  • Global governance; political, economic, human rights and environmental.
  • Power and developments.
  • Regionalism and the EU.

You will be taught using a range of techniques including political blogging, contemporary news analysis and essay writing techniques preparing you to take three exams at the end of your second year.

There is no coursework for this A-Level, you will be assessed by written examinations only. The exams involve extended essays with the exams lasting three hours each. You must be prepared to read, and keep up-to-date with current affairs.


Why should I choose USP College?

  • Previous students have been selected to attend a Commonwealth Forum at the Foreign Office in London and have attended Politics Association revision conferences.
  • Students have also attended the Sixth Form Conference at Westminster featuring representatives of the political parties and leading academics.
  • In year one you will have the chance to go to Westminster and have a tour of Parliament with our local MP.
  • In year two students have had the opportunity to visit the EU Learning Centre in London and Berlin in Germany to learn about the Cold War and World Wars.


Additional costs

You should purchase folders and paper, as well as one textbook for each year of study. These textbooks should not exceed £25 each.

What could I do next?

Many students continue to university to study International Politics, Law or a Combined Politics course.

Students have also found it useful for progression on to journalism courses. Potential career paths include: Teaching, Law, Journalism, The Civil Service or Local and Central Government.


We recommend that you take Core Maths alongside this course.

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