government and politics course in london

Politics

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.

Politics Courses

We offer Politics as a one-year as well as a two-year A level. We follow the Edexcel Route C course, a four-unit A level which remains a modular course until 2017, so the AS units, taken in the first year, contribute 50% of the overall A level, and can be re-taken if necessary in the second year.

Unit 1: People and Politics

This Unit introduces students to the study of politics by looking at the central ideas of citizenship, democracy and participation and by examining the representative processes in the UK and the main party political policies and ideas. You will look at the question of who holds the power in what we call our liberal democracy, how do they hold it and the extent to which power-relations are changing under the current political arrangements.

Unit 2: Governing the United Kingdom

This Unit provides an introduction to the major institutions of UK government, examines their relationships with one another and considers their effectiveness. Topics include The Constitution, Parliament, The Prime Minister and Cabinet, Judges and Civil Liberties. We’ll look at such questions as: what is the role of the House of Commons? what is cabinet government and how does it work in the UK? how powerful are Prime Ministers? do judges uphold civil liberties effectively?

Assessment is by written examination of 1 hour 20 minutes

A2

Unit 3: topic C  Representative Processes in the United States

This unit introduces students to the study of the representative processes of the United States political system, and considers their adequacy in terms of popular elections and voting behaviour. The areas covered in this unit are Elections and Voting, Political Parties, Pressure Groups and Racial and Ethnic Politics.  We will look at questions such as: Which factors have shaped the modern American electoral system? What are the main differences between the American political parties, Democrats and Republicans?  Does each one have  a single ideology or a coalition of ideologies? What are  the principal characteristics of American political campaigns? What are the views of liberals, conservatives and Libertarians on fundamental issues such as individual freedom, human equality and the way the USA is going? What is ‘Affirmative Action’, and has the policy been a success ?

Assessment is by written examination of 1 hour 30 minutes
Students are required to answer three short answer questions from a choice of five (15 marks each),
and one essay question from a choice of three (45 marks).

Unit 4: Topic C, Governing the United States

In this unit, you will extend your knowledge of the political system of the United States to include the main institutions and political relationships within the United States Government. In this unit, students will study the main institutions such as The United States Constitution, The Presidency, The Congress, The Supreme Court, The structure and direction of American Federalism. We will look at questions such as: Why has the Constitution been changed so little? Was Obama a successful President? Why is it so difficult to pass legislation through Congress? Why has the Supreme Court made so many controversial judgements in recent years?

Assessment is by written examination of 1 hour 30 minutes

Students are required to answer three short answer questions from a choice of five (15 marks each),
and one essay question from a choice of three (45 marks).

Politics Staff

 

Geoffrey Segal

G Segal
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

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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

J Gillings
John 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.

 

 

Politics Students

Amy Wagner

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 Judy, who encouraged me, supported me and who had faith in me. I couldn’t have done it without Brampton College.”

Naim Cohen

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.”