Do you have a lively and enquiring mind, an interest in politics and current affairs, a desire to explore new ideas and an ability to communicate your ideas effectively? Perhaps you like doing subjects that affect your everyday life or generally have a keen appreciation of the need to participate in the decision-making process? If so, Politics A level could be for you. And, at the moment, there could hardly be a more interesting time to study the subject.
Students in the Politics department have a record of producing high grades and of going on to read politics, history, international relations and business degrees. Many of our students come to the course with no knowledge of the subject and end by wishing to study it further at university.
We offer Politics as a one-year as well as a two-year A level. Students in the Politics department have an outstanding record of producing high grades and of going on to read Politics, History, International Relations and Business degrees. Many of our students come to the course with no knowledge of the subject and end by wishing to study it further at university. You will learn:
- How to develop a critical awareness of the nature of politics and the relationship between political ideas, institutes and processes;
- What the structures of authority and power are within the political system of the United Kingdom and the United States, and how these may differ from those of other political systems;
- What the rights and responsibilities of individuals are in order to encourage participation by citizens within society;
- How to develop personal effectiveness through a critical awareness of political events and issues, and empathetic understanding of the main political viewpoints and the skills required to argue a case with relevance and coherence;
- A clear understanding of the ideologies and theories, motives and values that underpin political processes and governmental decision-making and the role of institutions in resolving conflicts, formulating public policies, and allocating scarce resources.
This course will appeal if you enjoy debating current affairs and politics generally, have a keen appreciation of the need to participate in the decision-making process, like doing a subject that affects your everyday life, or that offers the opportunity to progress to a career in politics, or simply to keep your options open – Politics can be a useful choice for a wide range of careers and can be combined with a wide range of sciences, social sciences and humanities subjects.
The two-year A level A level course in Politics consists of three units of assessment based on the following content:
Component 1: UK Politics and Core Political Ideas
2 hours, 33.3% of the qualification, 84 marks.
Section A: Political Participation
Students will study: Democracy and political participation, political parties, voting patterns and behaviour, two or more recent general elections, the role of the media.
Section B: Core political ideas
Students will study the principle background ideas of modern politics – the ideologies of Conservatism, Socialism and Liberalism, with emphasis on five of the most important thinkers behind each political idea.
Component 2: UK Government and Non-Core Political Ideas
2 hours, 33.3% of the qualification, 84 marks
Section A: UK Government
Students will study the main institutions of the UK system: The features and evolution of the Constitution, the Prime Minister and the Core Executive, Parliament, and the relationship between the branches of Government.
Section B: Non-core Political Ideas
Students will study one idea from the following: Anarchism. Ecologism, Feminism, Multiculturalism, Nationalism with emphasis on the main thinkers behind each political idea.
Component 3 (Option A): The USA and Comparative Politics
2 hours, 33.3% of the Qualification, 84 marks
Section A: The Government of the USA
Students will study: The US Constitution and Federalism, the US Congress, the US Presidency, the US Supreme Court, Civil Rights, Democracy and Participation.
Section B: Comparative Theories
Students will study theoretical methods of comparison between the UK and US systems, using rational, cultural and structural approaches to evaluate the similarities and differences between the two systems.
Politics Results 2015-17
A*/A – 40%
A*-B – 87%
(Cohort: 30 students)
Geoffrey Segal, a Cambridge graduate, who also teaches Mathematics at the College, is a qualified, practising solicitor who delivers the constitutional and legal elements of the AS Politics specification, where his students have always enjoyed great success.
Mike Wheeldon, Vice Principal for Arts & Humanities
Mike Wheeldon is the Vice Principal for Arts and Humanities in the College. He joined us in 2000 after a period as Head of Arts and prior to that as Head of English in various London sixth form colleges. Following his degree in English and Latin at the University of Warwick, Mike was a doctoral researcher in Classics at Kings’ College London for several years, writing on historiographical theory in the ancient world and teaching occasional undergraduate classes. He has been teaching Politics, Classics and English at sixth form level for over 20 years. Mike is married with three grown-up children. His free time is spent fretting over the fortunes of Manchester United or trying to take his mind off them with crosswords, hiking and visits to the theatre.
John Gillings is a very experienced teacher of Politics and History, who was head of department at the famous Oundle School for many years before coming to Brampton. He has a deep interest in all areas of politics, and offers teaching in American politics.
I came to Brampton after having not received the grades that I had hoped for in my AS levels. I had worked hard for my first year of exams but I never really knew how to answer an exam question or how to revise properly for them. It came as a shock to me how much harder AS levels they were from the GCSE examinations.
I came to Brampton seeking help and support and they welcomed me with open arms- offering me extra tutorials, exam tips and an unlimited supply of past papers. From my first day in Brampton College, the teachers made an effort to get to know me and to help me change my approach to how I went about revising for my exams. Throughout all my school years, teachers never encouraged me as much as they did at Brampton. Brampton made me want to achieve my very best. As well as the support from the staff at college, I met students, many of whom are now very good friends. They were in the same position as myself and we all felt supported the whole way through our year at college.
I never thought that with the grades that I had originally received in my previous school, I would ever get a place at the university of my choice and that I would have the opportunity the take a year out but with the help of the college, it was all made possible. I am currently in Israel experiencing a different culture, living, studying and volunteering. Next year I have a place at the University of Birmingham to study International Relations. Brampton made it possible for me to have a year with no worries and a year which would prepare me for university life.
I want to thank Mike along with all my teachers, Heather, Barbara, Justin and Judi, who encouraged me, supported me and who had faith in me. I couldn’t have done it without Brampton College.”
Naim joined us from JFS to re-sit A levels in Politics and Economics. He left with A grades in both, and went on to study at Leeds University.
I was disappointed with the A level grades I received in two of my subjects. They weren’t what I had expected and didn’t reflect my potential. They were good enough for me to get into some universities, but after some careful thinking, I decided to re-take Politics and Economics and get into my first choice course. Obviously, at first I was unsure as to whether it was a good idea to re-take as my friends were moving onto new stages in their lives. After a while, I looked at it as though it was a year off to fulfil my potential.
I wanted a change of atmosphere and so I decided to look at sixth form colleges. After having an interview at Brampton College I was increasingly sure that re-taking was a step in the right direction. In my previous school I felt that I was not being pushed enough to work and that I did not have the right guidance to help me fulfil my potential. I knew that if I was to join Brampton College I would have all this and more.
Once at the college, I was instantly introduced to a new standard of learning. Everyone there was focused on achieving their best and that provided the atmosphere I needed to do well. Weekly tests helped me to improve my writing skills and get me used to exam conditions.
Class sizes were small enough for students to get one-on-one teaching that helped to highlight every student’s weaknesses in order for them to be improved. Ian and Simon helped me greatly to focus on my written technique as they both saw instantly that that was what I needed. In no time I could see my skills improving and that in turn boosted my grades. I began to structure my essays in order to answer the question set, not just regurgitate what I had learned. I started to gain a new confidence in my writing. However, it was not all just work, work, work, at Brampton. I also enjoyed myself at after-school football.
I was not in London when the results came out. My father called me up and told me that I had received an A in Politics and an A in Economics! I have now finished my second year exams at Leeds University, studying International Relations. In retrospect I am extremely happy that I decided to re-take my exams, and that I chose Brampton College to do it in.”