A Level Government and Politics (Legacy)

What is Government and Politics?

Politics is about how we are governed. It concerns the ways in which decisions are made with regard to government, state and public affairs; where power lies; how governments and states work; and different theories and practices such as democracy, equality, tyranny and violence. In the course, we look at the activities of political parties and politicians and all sorts of other groups and individuals who take part in political activity and help to shape the society in which we live.

What sort of student does it suit and what will you get out of the course?

Few students have a background in GCSE Politics. This is unnecessary, and many students choose the subject because - as with Economics, Law and Sociology - it is a "new", unfamiliar subject. It is especially suitable for those studying related disciplines such as the ones above and History, but it can work well as a third subject which contrasts with the main AS/A2 level courses selected. What is needed is an interest in current affairs (or a willingness to develop one), an open-minded appreciation of both sides of an argument and an ability to communicate views clearly on paper. One of the obvious advantages of Politics is that, by reading a newspaper or watching television, all sorts of useful examples can be incorporated into one's knowledge and understanding.

AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

MPW adopts an integrated approach to the teaching of these two interrelated units. Wide reading, not only of the textbook and the MPW handouts, but also of newspapers and relevant websites is required. Government and Politics is a very fast-moving subject, and it is essential to keep on top of developments, so that relevant up-to-date examples can be used to illustrate arguments in essays. Students complete assessed work every week, in addition to the timed assignment.

AS Specification Number
Edexcel 8GP01

 

Unit 1 (6GP01)

1h 20m exam 50% (25%)
People and Politics.

The unit examines democracy and political participation, party policies and ideas, elections, and pressure groups. The paper requires answers to 2 structured questions (chosen from 4 alternatives). Each question will have a mark tariff of 5, 10 and 25 marks.

Unit 2 (6GP02)

1h 20m exam 50% (25%)
Governing the UK.

An introduction to the main institutions of UK government such as the UK Constitution, Parliament, the Prime Minister and the executive, the judiciary and civil liberties. The examination paper will offer a choice of one stimulus based structured question out of two with a mark tariff of 5, 10 and 25 marks, followed by one extended question out of a choice of two worth 40 marks.

Reading list

AuthorTitlePublisher
Neil McNaughton  Edexcel Government and Politics for AS  Hodder Education 
Andrew Heywood  Essentials of UK Politics Palgrave Macmillan
Neil McNaughton  Edexcel Government and Politics for AS  Hodder Education 
 

My revision notes

 

A2 Level

MPW approach to A2 study

The course is taught topic by topic, the range of issues each being explored, discussed and tested in detail. Much emphasis is placed on the style and demands of the examination paper to which frequent reference is made. Wide reading is a pre-requisite for students seeking high
grades, not only of the textbook and the MPW handouts, but also of newspapers and relevant websites. This is essential so that students can answer examination questions with the detail required. Students complete assessed work every week, in addition to the timed assignment.

A2 Specification Number
Edexcel 9GP01

 

The full A level qualification is made up of the AS units plus two more studied at a higher level. These two units, units 3 and 4, will be Topic C (US Politics). This topic examines in detail the workings of US political life, giving a genuine insight into US political culture.

Unit 3 (6GP03)

1h 30m exam 50% (25%)
Representative processes in the USA.

Topic content: elections and voting, political parties, pressure groups, racial and ethnic policies.

The examination paper will offer a choice of three short answer questions out of five, followed by one essay question out of a choice of three. The short answer questions are worth 15 marks, and the essay question is worth 45 marks.

Unit 4 (6GP04)

1h 30m exam 50% (25%)
Governing the USA

Topic content: the Constitution, Congress, Presidency, Supreme Court

The examination paper will offer a choice of three short answer questions out of five, followed by one essay question out of a choice of three. The short answer questions are worth 15 marks, and the essay question is worth 45 marks.

Reading list

AuthorTitlePublisher
Anthony J Bennett  US Government and Politics  Philip Allan Updates 
Neil McNaughton Edexcel Government and Politics for A2 Hodder Education
  My revision notes  

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