Without politics, society does not exist. For without politics there is no law and order, only anarchy.
Politics is both an activity of policy making and an institutional arrangement of law making. In a democracy the activity aims to be popular and the institutions open to all. It is a behavioural subject that captures people’s aspirations and inspirations to make life for themselves and others worthwhile. Aspirations can be grand such as ‘making poverty history’ or modest ‘lowering the voting age to 16 years old’ but whatever the aspirations they have one thing in common, they really matter to those who fight for their causes, that is their inspiration.
The A-Level course considers aspects of both British and Global Politics alongside key political ideologies. It starts with the basics, no previous knowledge is assumed. What is the political system in Britain and how do the people get involved? What are the issues that become political and who makes them political?
In Year 12 the course delves into modern British politics. It asks critical questions such as what do the Conservative and Labour parties stand for today? Is Brexit just the first stage in a wider constitutional reformatting of the UK? Other topical issues are also considered; immigration, Trident, pressure group activity, to name just a few.
In Year 13s students study Global Politics. They look at the truly momentous events in the last two decades. The end of the Cold War, the spread of globalisation and the haunting spectre of international terrorism are all studied in depth. World politics is exciting for it encompasses all facets of life showing the cosmopolitan nature of humanity today. War and peace are endemic across continents and their causes and consequences tell you a lot about the state of life on the planet. International Relations is an effective discipline for gaining knowledge and understanding of the world and is a highly rewarding degree to think about for university.
Both courses invite you to follow the news, read and research independently and be prepared to defend your ideas, in both written and verbal forms. It is a distinct advantage if students are good at GCSE English or have excelled in other subjects that require good argument and judgement skills.