Students follow the AQA specification and over the course will learn:
- to develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the political system of the UK, including local and EU dimensions;
- to develop their capacity for critical thinking, to see relationships between different aspects of Government and Politics and to perceive their field of study in a broader perspective, including some comparisons with other political systems;
- to develop knowledge and understanding of relevant political concepts and processes;
- to understand the essential characteristics and inter-relationships of the legislature, executive and judiciary;
- to assess the adequacy of the existing political arrangements for ensuring representative democracy and participation;
- to analyse current political debates; and
- to express ideas in a coherent and articulate manner.
Subject Content & Syllabus:
Component 1: UK Politics
This unit explores the nature of politics and how people engage with the political process in the UK. In this unit, you will deal with the nature and sources of the British constitution, the structure and role of Parliament, the powers of the Prime Minister, the role of the judiciary as well as core themes relating to democracy, elections, political parties and pressure groups.
Component 2: The Government and Politics of the USA and Comparative Politics
This unit will introduce you to the major governmental processes within the USA and also encourage you to compare it with those of the UK. This unit will deal with the constitutional framework of the US government, the electoral process, political parties and pressure groups. It will also provide you with a detailed understanding of the executive legislative and judicial branches of government. In the second part of the course, you will develop comparisons between the systems of the UK and the USA.
Component 3: Political Ideas
This unit will introduce you to the subject of political ideology and will examine the major ideas of liberalism, conservatism, socialism, as well as either feminism or nationalism. You will be required to study the core elements of each ideology, as well as the different varieties that exist within each belief system.
Component 1: written examination: 2 hours
Component 2: written examination: 2 hours
Component 3: written examination: 2 hours
No prior knowledge of politics is required. Students with a good range of GCSE results may begin the subject by agreement with the Head of Department.
All pupils will have the opportunity to visit the Houses of Parliament in either Year 12 or 13, during which they will receive a tour of the Commons and also have the chance to participate in a mock Select Committee debate.
All pupils will go on a political walking tour of Manchester concentrating on Marx and Engels to supplement their understanding of socialism.
Should the opportunity arise, pupils will be expected to take part in any mock elections that the department decides to arrange. In recent years we have held very successful mock general elections and most recently a mock EU referendum.
The department now organises a Politics Forum, through which university lecturers visit the school to deliver lectures and chair seminar discussions.
Students who study Government and Politics will have access to a wide range of career and degree opportunities. By the end of the course, students will have a good working knowledge of the UK system of government and will have a deep understanding of a range of political ideologies and how they operate, both in theory and reality. Students will be analytical, articulate and informed, attributes valuable to universities and employers. Students studying this subject have gone into a number of careers ranging from law, journalism and business to speech writing for politicians in the UK, EU and USA.
As a combined honours degree with History, Economics, Philosophy or a language, Politics will provide undergraduates with an attractive foundation for their future careers.