A Level Government and Politics (Reformed 2017)

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 textbook and the MPW handouts, but also of newspapers and relevant websites is required, and students complete a minimum of two pieces of written work per week, in addition to the timed assignment.

AS Specification Number
Edexcel 8PL0

 

Component 1: UK Politics 8PL0/01
Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes. 50% of the qualification.

Content overview - Students will study:

• democracy and participation
• political parties
• electoral systems
• voting behaviour and the media.

Component 2: UK Government 8PL0/02
Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes. 50% of the qualification.

Content overview - Students will study:

• The constitution
• Parliament
• Prime Minister and executive
• Relationships between the branches.

 

 

Reading list

AuthorTitle
McNaughton  Edexcel Government and Politics for AS/A Level 5th edition 

A Level

MPW approach to A Level study

MPW adopts a linear approach to A Level study, working through each of the components in order across the two year period. Wide reading, not only of textbook and the MPW handouts, but also of newspapers and relevant websites is required, and students complete a minimum of two pieces of written work per week, in addition to the timed assignment. It is also paramount that students follow global political affairs to thrive in A Level Politics and it is recommended they read US news sources as well as UK ones.

A Level Specification Number
Edexcel 9PL01

 

Component 1: UK Politics 9PL0/01
Written examination: 2 hours. 33% of the qualification.
84 marks.

Content overview -

1. Political Participation, students will study:
• democracy and participation, political parties, electoral systems, voting behaviour and the media.

2. Core Political Ideas, students will study:
• conservatism, liberalism, socialism.

Assessment overview -
Section A: Political Participation

• One 30-mark question from a choice of two (each question uses a source) – students must complete one of these. Plus one 30-mark question from a choice of two – students must complete one of these.
• All questions assess AO1, AO2 and AO3.

Section B: Core Political Ideas

• One 24-mark question from a choice of two, which assesses AO1, AO2 and AO3.

Component 2: UK Government 9PL0/02
Written examination: 2 hours. 33% of the qualification.
84 marks.

Content overview -

1. UK Government, students will study:
• the constitution, parliament, Prime Minister and executive, relationships between the branches.

2. Non-core political ideas, students will study:
• one idea from the following: anarchism, ecologism, feminism, multiculturalism, nationalism.

Assessment overview -
Section A: UK Government

• One 30-mark question from a choice of two (each question uses a source) – students must complete one of these. Plus one 30-mark question from a choice of two – students must complete one of these.
• All questions assess AO1, AO2 and AO3.

Section B: Non-core Political Ideas

• One 24-mark question from a choice of two, which assesses AO1, AO2 and AO3.

Component 3: Comparative Politics 9PL0/3A or 3B
Written examination: 2 hours. 33% of the qualification.
84 marks.
Students study either USA (9PL0/3A) or Global (9PL0/3B) – MPW will
be studying 3A.

Content overview -
For USA (3A), students will study:

• the US Constitution and federalism, US Congress, US presidency, US Supreme Court and civil rights, democracy and participation, comparative theories.

Assessment overview for 3A and 3B -
Section A:

• One 12-mark question from a choice of two, which assesses
AO1 and AO2.

Section B:

• One compulsory 12-mark question focused on comparative
theories, which assesses AO1 and AO2.

Section B:

• Two 30-mark questions from a choice of three, which assess AO1, AO2 and AO3.

Reading list

AuthorTitle
Mcnaughton Edexcel UK Government and Politics for AS/A level Fifth Edition
Lynch UK Government and Politics for AS/A Level (Fifth Edition)
 Mcnaughton Political ideas for A Level: Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism, Feminism, Anarchism

Jonathon

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Exeter University (Business Management)

I chose MPW because of the academic support provided by the college, which was instrumental in helping me throughout the challenging nature of my one-year A level courses. The weekly Timed Assignments and assistance provided by the Personal Tutor system helped me in areas I had previously struggled. Playing for the college football team was a great release from the challenging academic nature of the year and it helped me build friendships with other students in the college.

Shivali

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
Leeds University (Dentistry)

The best part about studying at MPW is the friendly, encouraging and supportive classroom environment that MPW provides.  It makes asking for help and reaching your potential easy and enjoyable. The college really helps students to believe in themselves.  The Personal Tutor system is great because it is available for you to use to whatever extent you might need whether that be having weekly meetings or meeting every now and then for a quick catch up to analyse my current progress.  The weekly Timed Assignments have also enabled me to build my confidence in the build up to my exams.  They help you to feel comfortable in an exam environment, as well as enable you to consolidate the material you need to recall in the final exams

Annabel

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AB

Progressed to
Exeter University (International Relations and History)

“Having not achieved the grades I wanted or needed in my A levels at my previous college I decided that retaking would be the best option for me.  I have found the small classes at MPW to be a real asset, and that, coupled with the fantastic teaching, has certainly enabled me to grow academically. Further to this, both the academic support and the university guidance provided by the college have been exceptional.”

Renee

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A

Progressed to
Manchester University (Dentistry)

After failing to get into Dental School last year I lost a lot of confidence and was worried that I might never get into my dream course.  The one-to-one support you get from MPW is so much more efficient compared to the main stream schools and colleges. The individual help you get for applying to University which includes interview support is amazing. No matter if you are a resit or a first time student, no one judges you and as long as you are hardworking and want to be a success.

Jake

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*A

Progressed to
Oxford University (Mathematics)

I joined MPW because I wanted to be part of a close knit community that focuses on helping students attain the grades they are really capable of.  Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor who assists them in all aspects of student life.  I would recommend the individual and personally tailored care given to any student looking to expand their academic horizons.  The encouragement and support has allowed me to aim high and achieve results that I had previously thought weren't possible. 

Cordelia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
King’s College London (Dentistry)

MPW gave me a second chance in pursuing a career in dentistry. The small class sizes and weekly timed assessments gave me and my tutors a clear indication of my progress.  The rigorous teaching schedules, structured and tailored to my personal needs, was exactly what I needed. MPW placed heavy focus on exam technique as the key to achieving the required higher grades. Being able to talk with my tutors at any time in the day was an invaluable aid. It was also clear how much the teachers took a personal interest in the development of each individual student.

Josephine

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
University of Warwick (Management)

I joined MPW having not fulfilled my academic potential during my AS level exams at my previous school. I decided to retake my AS year at MPW and it was the best decision I ever made. The tutors at MPW have pushed me to achieve my maximum potential and have greatly improved my academic performance. The best part of studying at MPW is the weekly timed assignments as they ensure that you continuously review and revise work as well as helping you to make weekly improvements on exam technique.

Olivia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Bristol University (Dentistry)

Throughout my time at MPW I have been provided with constant support.  The college has prepared me for not only my exams but also the university interviews I attended.  It has been an amazing experience from start to finish.  The friendly and welcoming environment created by the staff and students made it an ideal setting for me to concentrate on achieving my targets.

Alex

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
University of Birmingham (Law)

I came to MPW with very low self-confidence after under-achieving at AS level at my previous school, and have left with greater confidence about my academic ability and with a definite degree of clarity about what I hope to achieve in terms of my career. My experience at my previous school was that those with Oxbridge potential receive the most support and attention. This is not the case at MPW. I have found that it does not matter about that what the student's potential may be, each student receives the same amount of help to achieve their goals.