There are three parts to the course. The first deals with Politics
in the UK. It involves looking at the British constitution and system of government including the role and powers of Parliament, the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Supreme Court. The impact of devolution on the UK and the UK’s changing relationship with the EU are also considered. The nature of democracy in the UK, the role of political parties, elections and voting and the ways in which individuals and groups can participate in politics also form part of this unit.
The second part involves a comparative study in which the American constitution, system of government and political culture are compared with those of the UK. As well as identifying similarities and differences between the two countries, students will also consider a range of possible explanations for the differences.
Finally, students will study the core ideas and principles
of liberalism, conservatism, socialism and nationalism, particularly those relating to human nature, the state, society and the economy. This includes looking at some of the key thinkers whose ideas have helped shape the modern world.
Discussion and debate will play a very important part in the
course and so you should develop the ability to understand different points of view, as well as consider alternatives objectively. You should also learn to argue your own case in a convincing manner, both orally and on paper, and to select relevant evidence to support your points.
You will need to have an interest in current events and
political ideas, to follow political issues in the media and to be ready to read articles in journals and on the internet when preparing for writing essays. You should be willing to share ideas in discussion and to listen to other people’s views.
It is recommended that you have a Grade 6 or above in a
humanities subject, or a Grade 5 in English Language, but other students will be considered on an individual basis.