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Making sense of the world around us.
Politics is offered at A level and gives students the opportunity to make sense of modern politics both in the United Kingdom and further afield. Following the new linear Edexcel syllabus, the first year of the course primarily focuses on the political processes of the United Kingdom and comprises two units: ‘UK Government’ and ‘UK politics’. The purpose of the course is to build political awareness and to develop the students’ understanding of how the modern world functions, of the complex issues that confront politicians and of the difficult decisions they frequently have to make.
An important feature of the politics course is that it is constantly being updated to stay in touch with live issues and live debates. In the second year of the course, we combine a topic focusing on the government of the USA with a parallel topic introducing core and non-core political ideologies. These two units enable the students to deepen their understanding of the wider world, both in terms of abstract ideas and of the importance of the very distinctive political practises of the USA. This blend of topics naturally brings an important and intellectually stimulating comparative approach to the study of politics which will equip students well for a wide range of degree courses.
Politics has a lot in common with history and makes an important contribution to the History and Politics Society. We have regular visitors from the world of politics as well as academics who speak on a range of topics that go beyond the confines of the curriculum. As a department we organise many events that coincide with national political occasions. In 2019, for example, we held a school mock election where students of politics organised and participated in a school-wide vote.
Each year, students participate in wide variety of university essay competitions such as the R.A. Butler Prize for essays in Politics and International Studies.
Every year we also run a trip to Parliament where students get the opportunity to tour the building and meet their local MP.
Studying politics is perfectly suited to students looking to study PPE or HSPS at Oxford and Cambridge respectively. There are also a diverse range of courses on offer at other universities, such as international relations, where politics is an ideal option. Every year many students opt for politics to add diversity and breadth to their A level choices.
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