Politics students at Westminster

This course investigates UK politics, UK government, Political Ideas and Comparative Politics. The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to:
• develop knowledge and an informed understanding of contemporary political structures and issues in their historical context, both within the United Kingdom and globally.
• develop a critical awareness of the changing nature of politics and the relationships between political ideas, institutions and processes.
• develop knowledge and an informed understanding of the influences and interests which have an impact on decisions in government and politics.
• develop knowledge and an informed understanding of the rights and responsibilities of individuals and groups.
• develop the ability to critically analyse, interpret and evaluate political information to form arguments and make judgements.
• develop an interest in, and engagement with, contemporary politics.

Course Outline

There are three broad areas of study in this specification:are three broad areas of study in this specification:

The government and politics of the UK
• Democracy and participation, political parties, electoral systems, voting behaviour and the media.
• The constitution, parliament, Prime Minister and executive, relationships between the branches.

The government and politics of the USA (for the comparative politics topic)
• The US Constitution and federalism, US Congress, US presidency, US Supreme Court and civil rights, democracy and participation, comparative theories.

Political ideas
• Conservatism, Liberalism, Socialism and Anarchism.


No Coursework
Examination (100%) – Assessment is at the end of the two year course through three two hour papers. The questions will require students to write essays, some of which draw upon source material.
Examining Board – Edexcel.

Special Entry Requirements

Standard A level entry requirements apply.

Prohibited Options


Career and Progression Opportunities

This subject is appropriate for those intending to study Social Sciences post A Level at University. It is also a very useful subject for a wide range of careers including law, journalism/media, the civil service, many areas of management and of course the world of politics itself. Our experience indicates that a variety of employers in both the private and public sectors value the qualification. Politics has recently had three students secure Oxbridge places – Alfie Fellowes, Erin Minogue and Sam Sayer. Alfie and Erin have got places at Oxford to study Oriental Studies & Japanese and English Language & Literature respectively, while Sam has progressed to Cambridge to study Theology.

Teaching Methods

The subject area utilises a variety of teaching methods. These include lectures, discussions, group work, student presentations, video material, study packs, IT-based activities, trips and visits and guest speakers.

Course Activities

Students must be prepared to undertake independent study utilising traditional and new media, the press, journals, television and radio. Success in this subject requires students to take an interest in current affairs and to read widely. There will be the opportunity to attend a range of masterclasses and university taster events through our close collaboration with several local Russell Group universities. Trips are usually organised to Parliament, several politicians visit the College each year and those students wishing to study politics at university can join the Politics Academy which includes the opportunity to gain the Extended Project Qualification, well thought of by admissions tutors in higher education.

Complementary Subjects or Enrichment Courses

Politics combines well with other Social Science courses such as Law, Sociology, Economics, History, Media Studies and Psychology, but many students pick up Politics alongside two science, humanities or arts subjects to create variety and interest in their programmes of study.

This information is correct for September 2019 entry.

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Case Studies

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