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La Retraithe Sixth Form


Studying Politics at the La Retraite 6

Exam Board: Edexcel

Entry Criteria: GCSE English Level 6

Why study this course?

Politics affects everything we do in our lives. A Level Politics teaches essay writing and critical thinking skills that are essential in a wide range of areas, including journalism, law, and history.  In addition, politics will deepen your understanding of political phenomena; how to form independent judgements about some of the major controversies of our age.

What will I learn?

A Level Politics is an academically demanding course ‘oven ready’ for those with an analytical mind. Students will investigate UK politics and government along with political ideologies in Year 12 before comparing and contrasting the UK to US government and politics in Year 13.

How will I be taught?

We aim to incorporate a range of styles into our teaching and your learning. This will include group work, presentations, debates, film, and television as well as individual reading, research, and writing. We will supplement your learning with visits, most notably, to Parliament, and we have an outstanding tradition of outside speakers visiting La Retraite to engage in political discourse with the students.

How many hours a week of private study are recommended?

Students are expected to complete around five hours of independent work a week, approximate to the amount of time amount of time spent in lessons.

You’ll enjoy this course if…

You are interested in the issues that impact upon your life, if you value justice, freedom, and equality. Do you have a desire to understand democracy, political participation, globalisation, environmentalism, feminism and the links between politics and economic competency?  This broad ranging qualification will prove invaluable in whatever degree or career you choose.

Course description

Component 1: content overview: Political Participation in the UK, students will study: democracy and participation, political parties, electoral systems, voting behaviour and the media. Core Political Ideas, students will study: conservatism, liberalism, socialism.

Component 2: content overview: UK Government, students will study: the constitution, parliament, Prime Minister and executive, relationships between the branches. Non-core political ideas, students will study: feminism

Component 3: content overview: US Government and Politics, students will study: the US Constitution and federalism, US Congress, US presidency, US Supreme Court and civil rights, democracy and participation, comparative theories.


Summary of exam structure and assessment:  Paper 1: UK Politics 2 hours 33.3% 84 marks Paper 2: UK Government 2 hours 33.3% 84 marks Paper 3: Comparative Politics (US and UK) 2 hours 33.3% 84 marks.