A Level Politics - Ratcliffe College


Why Study A Level Politics?

The study of A Level Politics has never been more relevant or more fascinating. It is a great subject for those with curious minds and a desire to find out just what is going on in the world today. The world of British politics really opens up to you after your eighteenth birthday, with the vote giving you the ability to change our nation and allow the principles we hold dear to thrive.

Politics clarifies what you, yourself believe

Politics provides the opportunity to discover your own political beliefs and to see in much greater detail the benefits and disadvantages of the vast array of political ideologies in the world today. Being able to express what you believe accurately and concisely is extremely useful!

Politics is a living, breathing subject

In Politics, textbooks are out of date as soon as they’re published because the landscape changes every day. With new examples appearing constantly in the media, picking which examples to use is really exciting. Something that has happened on exam day can also appear in your response!

Politics helps you to understand our nation’s parties

The course will help you understand the ideologies and policies of our political parties, showing how they play out within our Parliament. We will be able to watch events unfold worldwide, see our leaders’ reactions and come to understand these reactions as demonstrations of what we have learned.

What Sort of Work is Involved?

A level Politics involves a lot of discussion and debate, so is ideal for those who enjoy talking and thinking about current affairs. You will need to keep up-to-date with what is happening in the world via:

  • NewspapersThe Telegraph, Guardian and New York Times
  • Internet sites – BBC News, FiveThirtyEight and Politico
  • TV – Question Time, Newsnight and BBC News

To be good at Politics, you will need to engage in independent learning to increase your knowledge past and present.

The Course

A level Politics is divided into a number of components covering a broad spectrum of themes. Put simply, the first year will be the study of British politics and the second year will focus on American politics. At Ratcliffe, we will study the Pearson Politics course which includes:

  • UK Politics and UK Government: You will study and discuss such questions as ‘What is Brexit all about and why is it happening?’, ‘What powers does the Prime Minister have?’, ‘Why was the result of the 2017 General Election such a surprise?’
  • Political Ideas: You will examine some of the ideas that have shaped our world, including Liberalism, Socialism, and Conservatism. Key political thinkers will also be studied such as Karl Marx and Edmund Burke.
  • US Politics: Find out the answers to questions like ‘How did Donald Trump become President?’, ‘Why it is so easy to have a gun in the USA?’, and ‘Why is race such a big issue in America?’ You will also have the opportunity to compare and contrast US and UK politics.

There is no coursework but the final exams for Politics are heavily essay based and you will get a lot of practice in researching and writing answers to sample exam questions.

Just because you do not take an interest in politics, doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.

What background do I need?

An interest in current affairs is the most important requirement, as it’s very beneficial to be able to bring existing knowledge of political events to your studies. History is the most useful subject to have some knowledge of, as a lot of contemporary politics is informed by past events. You must have History or English at L6 or above to deal with the essay writing demands of the course. Generally, no specific GCSEs are required. Other subjects such as Economics and Geography would be options to choose to enhance your knowledge and understanding of the subject.

Where can A Level Politics lead me?

This course could be useful for careers in:

  • Politics
  • Civil Service
  • Local Government
  • Law
  • Business Administration
  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Any field where a basic knowledge of the government is of assistance.

It may also be viewed as an integral part of one’s general education as an intelligent, well-informed and thoughtful citizen of a democratic country.


If you would like to know more about our Politics course, why not visit us and speak to our teachers at our latest open morning? Find out more and book your place here: