What is A-Level Politics like? (Edexcel)

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damhashj
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I'm likely going be doing Politics as one of my A-Levels, wanted to ask what people who do it think of it and any advice they have
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Namakii
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Personally, I really enjoy it and its good for both people have already have good understanding of uk politics and for those who perhaps dont know much but are interested on the subject. However it is content heavily but I enjoy this and tips wise I would say just keep up with what's go in on currently as they will be great for examples needed in your essays. I'm in year 12 currently and have really enjoyed the first year. Would also say try and be an active member of the class and set up debating points as this allows you to consider different view points which are essential for the essays.
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damhashj
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Thanks so much for your reply, that's really helpful.
I also wanted to ask is the course primarily British politics, because personally I'm more interested in international politics but I just wanted to know if it's around the same or mostly British politics?
(Original post by Namakii)
Personally, I really enjoy it and its good for both people have already have good understanding of uk politics and for those who perhaps dont know much but are interested on the subject. However it is content heavily but I enjoy this and tips wise I would say just keep up with what's go in on currently as they will be great for examples needed in your essays. I'm in year 12 currently and have really enjoyed the first year. Would also say try and be an active member of the class and set up debating points as this allows you to consider different view points which are essential for the essays.
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TensorTympani
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With an incredible series of unexpected and unpredictable events at home and abroad in recent years, the study of Politics has never been more relevant or more fascinating and it’s a great subject for those with enquiring minds and a desire to find out just what is going on in the world today and why. A level Politics is divided into a number of components covering a broad spectrum of political themes (the specification for the Edexcel exam board is given below):
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?’, and ‘Is Britain truly democratic?’

Political Ideas: You will examine some of the great ideas that have shaped our world for good or ill, including Liberalism, Socialism, and Conservatism; and at the work and influence of key political thinkers such as Karl Marx, Mary Wollstonecraft and Edmund Burke.

US Politics: Find out the answers to questions like ‘How did Donald Trump become President?’, ‘Why it 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.

What sort of work is involved?
A level Politics involves a lot of discussion, so is ideal for those who enjoy talking and thinking about current affairs. You will also need to keep up-to-date with what is happening in the world via the internet, newspapers and TV programmes, and will need to engage in independent learning to increase your knowledge of politics past and present.

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.

What background do I need?
An interest in current affairs is perhaps the most important requirement as it is very beneficial to be able to bring at least some existing knowledge of political events and personalities to your studies. Some knowledge of history can also be helpful as so much of contemporary politics is informed by past events and decisions. Generally, no specific GCSEs are required but you will need a good level of English in order to deal with the essay writing demands of the course.

Where can it lead?
Politics is not one of the Russell Group’s facilitating subjects, but is a well-regarded ‘middle-weight’ A level on a par with Psychology, Sociology and Law and will help to provide you with many of the skills required for university study, although if you already have a university and course in mind you should check their specific entry requirements before choosing your A levels.

A Politics A level is not required to study the subject at degree level but many Politics students enjoy the subject so much that they continue their studies at undergraduate level or in related subjects such as International Relations. Some Politics students do in fact go on to work in the political sphere, while other popular career options include law and journalism.

One year course?
It is certainly possible to study a Politics A level in one year although of course there will be a lot of work involved to master all of the course components and to independently research the examples that are needed to excel in the subject. Nevertheless, the new linear format means that students sitting the course in one year may find that some of the examined content is fresher in their minds than for those studying the course over two years.

Assessment
The Politics A level was reformed in 2017 and is now assessed at the end of the second year through three exams. By far the most popular exam board for Politics is Edexcel and their examination structure is given below.

Paper 1: UK Politics and Core Political Ideas: This paper lasts two hours and requires you to answer two 30 mark essay questions on UK Politics topics including Democracy and Participation, Political Parties, Electoral Systems, and Voting Behaviour. You will also answer a 24 mark short essay question on either Liberalism, Conservatism or Socialism.

Paper 2: UK Government and Non-core Political Ideas: This paper lasts two hours and requires you to answer two 30 mark essay questions on UK Government topics including the Constitution, Parliament, the Prime Minister, and Relations between Political Institutions. You will also answer a 24 mark short essay question on either Anarchism, Nationalism, Feminism, Ecologism or Multi-culturalism depending on which non-core political idea your centre has chosen to teach.

Paper 3: Comparative Politics – USA: This paper lasts two hours and requires you to answer two short 12 mark questions comparing US and UK politics, and two 30 mark essay questions on US Politics topics including the Constitution, Congress, the Presidency, the Supreme Court and Civil Rights, and Democracy and Participation.

Useful websites:
https://www.cife.org.uk/article/guid...evel-politics/
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TensorTympani
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I forgot to quote you in my reply above
(Original post by damhashj)
I'm likely going be doing Politics as one of my A-Levels, wanted to ask what people who do it think of it and any advice they have
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damhashj
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Thanks so much, this was really useful and gave all the info I needed.
(Original post by TensorTympani)
With an incredible series of unexpected and unpredictable events at home and abroad in recent years, the study of Politics has never been more relevant or more fascinating and it’s a great subject for those with enquiring minds and a desire to find out just what is going on in the world today and why. A level Politics is divided into a number of components covering a broad spectrum of political themes (the specification for the Edexcel exam board is given below):
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?’, and ‘Is Britain truly democratic?’

Political Ideas: You will examine some of the great ideas that have shaped our world for good or ill, including Liberalism, Socialism, and Conservatism; and at the work and influence of key political thinkers such as Karl Marx, Mary Wollstonecraft and Edmund Burke.

US Politics: Find out the answers to questions like ‘How did Donald Trump become President?’, ‘Why it 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.

What sort of work is involved?
A level Politics involves a lot of discussion, so is ideal for those who enjoy talking and thinking about current affairs. You will also need to keep up-to-date with what is happening in the world via the internet, newspapers and TV programmes, and will need to engage in independent learning to increase your knowledge of politics past and present.

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.

What background do I need?
An interest in current affairs is perhaps the most important requirement as it is very beneficial to be able to bring at least some existing knowledge of political events and personalities to your studies. Some knowledge of history can also be helpful as so much of contemporary politics is informed by past events and decisions. Generally, no specific GCSEs are required but you will need a good level of English in order to deal with the essay writing demands of the course.

Where can it lead?
Politics is not one of the Russell Group’s facilitating subjects, but is a well-regarded ‘middle-weight’ A level on a par with Psychology, Sociology and Law and will help to provide you with many of the skills required for university study, although if you already have a university and course in mind you should check their specific entry requirements before choosing your A levels.

A Politics A level is not required to study the subject at degree level but many Politics students enjoy the subject so much that they continue their studies at undergraduate level or in related subjects such as International Relations. Some Politics students do in fact go on to work in the political sphere, while other popular career options include law and journalism.

One year course?
It is certainly possible to study a Politics A level in one year although of course there will be a lot of work involved to master all of the course components and to independently research the examples that are needed to excel in the subject. Nevertheless, the new linear format means that students sitting the course in one year may find that some of the examined content is fresher in their minds than for those studying the course over two years.

Assessment
The Politics A level was reformed in 2017 and is now assessed at the end of the second year through three exams. By far the most popular exam board for Politics is Edexcel and their examination structure is given below.

Paper 1: UK Politics and Core Political Ideas: This paper lasts two hours and requires you to answer two 30 mark essay questions on UK Politics topics including Democracy and Participation, Political Parties, Electoral Systems, and Voting Behaviour. You will also answer a 24 mark short essay question on either Liberalism, Conservatism or Socialism.

Paper 2: UK Government and Non-core Political Ideas: This paper lasts two hours and requires you to answer two 30 mark essay questions on UK Government topics including the Constitution, Parliament, the Prime Minister, and Relations between Political Institutions. You will also answer a 24 mark short essay question on either Anarchism, Nationalism, Feminism, Ecologism or Multi-culturalism depending on which non-core political idea your centre has chosen to teach.

Paper 3: Comparative Politics – USA: This paper lasts two hours and requires you to answer two short 12 mark questions comparing US and UK politics, and two 30 mark essay questions on US Politics topics including the Constitution, Congress, the Presidency, the Supreme Court and Civil Rights, and Democracy and Participation.

Useful websites:
https://www.cife.org.uk/article/guid...evel-politics/
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Namakii
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It's more uk based but depending on your college paper 3 will be either us or global politics

(Original post by damhashj)
Thanks so much for your reply, that's really helpful.
I also wanted to ask is the course primarily British politics, because personally I'm more interested in international politics but I just wanted to know if it's around the same or mostly British politics?
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monchoo
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(Original post by damhashj)
I'm likely going be doing Politics as one of my A-Levels, wanted to ask what people who do it think of it and any advice they have
I really like Politics, it is one of my favorite subjects. I honestly hate the UK modules but it’s all worth it for the last paper because you get to study either US comparative politics or Global politics. I did Global and honestly it’s the best thing that could have happened to me. Despite me hating the UK modules I found the ideologies quite interesting and I would only recommend taking it if you are actually interested in politics and current affairs because it’s quite a lot of work.

The only downside to politics, as I’m currently doing revision for my exams, is that there is a lot of knowledge to know for the paper in terms of up to date examples and statistics. In order to get the top grades you need to have very current and relevant examples and up to date statistics which takes quite a bit of extra research and time. However, I love politics and I’m going on to study it as is most of my class so I would reccomend
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