A-Level Government and Politics

A-Level Government and Politics

If you choose to study A-Level Government and Politics then you will develop knowledge of the UK political systems as well as an understanding of the UK within the European Union. You will also be aware of how political decisions shape the country, both in the present and for the future.

You will explore what democracy means, party politics and the key institutions that are involved in politics. You will also be able to understand, interpret and analyse political knowledge and information as well as developing an awareness of citizenship and the rights and responsibilities of individuals.

A-Level Government and Politics

A specific arrangement of units is required for certification, made up of AS-Level units and A2 level units. You will study four units. The assessment for A-Level Government and Politics is by exam.

Over the course, you will undergo at least 360 guided learning hours over a two-year period. These guided learning hours are levels set by the government on how much time the tutor at your sixth form or college has to be present to give guidance (such as lectures, tutorials etc.) towards your award.

AS-Level Government and Politics

  • Edexcel AS-Level Government and Politics

In the first unit, People and Politics, you will explore key channels of communication between the government and its people. You will focus on evaluating the arrangements to ensure democracy and participation. In the second unit, Governing the UK, you will develop knowledge of the major governmental processes in the UK. You will also develop understanding of the role and effectiveness of key institutions, as well as how these work in multi-level governance.

  • OCR AS-Level Government and Politics

The first unit, Contemporary Politics of the UK will develop your knowledge of political parties and pressure groups as well as electoral systems, elections and voting behaviour. In the second unit, Contemporary Government of the UK, you will explore the constitution, the executive, legislature, judiciary and the European Union.

  • WJEC AS-Level Government and Politics

In the People, Politics and Participation unit, you will develop an understanding of political behaviour in the UK, including voting, electoral systems and referendums. You will also explore political parties and pressure groups. In the second unit, Governing Modern Wales, you will focus on how Wales and the UK is governed, You will explore the power of the state, the constitution, democracy and the power that unelected bureaucrats can hold.

  • CCEA AS-Level Government and Politics

In the first unit, The Government and Politics of Northern Ireland, you will focus on a range of political concepts and apply them to the context of Northern Ireland. You will also develop knowledge of government arrangements, strategies and policies and political effects of different electoral systems in Northern Ireland. In the second unit, The British Political Process, you will focus on the governance of Britain and the relationships between judiciary, executive and legislature.

A2-Level Government and Politics

The A2 Government and Politics is the equivalent of the second year of study of A-Level Government and Politics. This is not a separate award. The A2 –Level Government and Politics with the AS-Level Government and Politics makes up the A-Level Government and Politics.  A2-Level Government and Politics will further develop your knowledge from AS-Level Government and Politics.

  • Edexcel A2 Government and Politics

For the AS units, you will build on your AS knowledge. In the Key Themes in Political Analysis unit, you will study one of the following topics in detail:

  1. UK political issues
  2. Introducing political ideologies
  3. Representative processes in the USA
  4. Structure of global politics

In the Extended Themes in Political Analysis unit, you will study one of the following in detail, building on from the first A2 unit:

  1. EU political issues
  2. Other ideological traditions
  3. Governing the USA
  4. Global political issues
  • OCR A2 Government and Politics

For the award of the A-Level, you will have a choice of the following options. Contemporary US Government and Politics with US Government and Politics or, Political Ideas and Concepts with Political Ideas and Concepts in Practice. Both of these will allow you to develop knowledge of politics outside of the UK, building on your existing AS knowledge.

  • WJEC A2 Government and Politics

For the first A2 unit, you will have a choice of study from one of the following units:

  1. In The Politics of the USA unit, you will be expected to develop your AS knowledge to explore topics such as the electoral process and direct democracy, political parties, voting behaviour and pressure groups.
  2. In the Political Ideologies unit, you will focus on liberalism, socialism, conservatism and nationalism.

For the second A2 unit, you will be able to study one of the following:

  1. In the Government of the USA unit, you will focus on the constitutional framework of US government, US Congress, executive branch of government and the Supreme Court.
  2. In the Challenges in Contemporary Politics, you will focus on globalisation, environmentalism, feminism and multiculturalism.
  • CCEA A2 Government and Politics

In the first A2 unit, Comparative Government, you will compare executive and legislative processes in either the United Kingdom and the United States of America or the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

In the second unit, Political Power and Political Ideas you will study either Political Power, which focuses on nature and distribution of political power and the basis of political authority and stability, or Political Ideas, which will allow you to explore liberalism, socialism and conservatism and how these differ.

A-Level Government and Politics Exam Board Information

  • The Edexcel A-Level Government and Politics specification is available here.
  • The specification for the OCR AS and A-Level Government and Politics is available here.
  • The CCEA A-Level Government and Politics specification is available here.
  • The specification for WJEC A-Level Government and Politics is available here.

Career Opportunities

Most people study A-Level Government and Politics so that they can study Politics at University. Others students will choose to study degrees such as History, Law, Philosophy, Sociology and Media Studies. Other career options include working in business, finance, local government or becoming involved in politics itself.

Other Useful Information

  • WJEC offer past papers for A-Level Government and Politics.
  • Edexcel offer past papers and other resources for A-Level Government and Politics.
  • There are a number of resources available from tutor2u for the AS-Level and A-Level Government and Politics.
  • Getrevising  has a selection of Government and Politics revision resources.