Government & Politics Department
- Mr T Finn-Kelcey
AS – Year 12
Students study the EDEXCEL course in Government and Politics, studying two units. Unit 1 is examined in January, Unit 2 in June. The course content is as follows
Unit 1 – People and Politics
This unit examines 4 specific areas of politics. There will be an exam question on EACH of the areas. The areas are;
- Democracy and Participation This section looks at where democracy came from, its key features, and whether it is really a good or bad system of government. It also looks in detail at Referendums and at the extent to which the UK is a democracy.
- Party policies and ideas This section examines in detail the two major political parties in the UK. We find out about their history, the different factions within them, the policies they support, and how these have changed over the years. You will be introduced to basic political ideologies, and examine the extent to which these influence the parties.
- Pressure GroupsHere, we find out what pressure groups are, and how they contribute to our democracy. We look at the tactics they use to influence the government, and whether or not they are a good thing for democracy. We also debate whether small groups are really significant in the UK, or whether we are still dominated by a few secret and powerful elites.
- Elections In the final section of unit 1 we find out about different electoral systems, and their pro’s and cons. We examine in detail the last few elections in the UK, and assess the need for reform of our electoral system.
Unit 2 – Governing the UK
- The Constitution In this section we find out about written and unwritten constitutions, and how they affect how a country is run. We look specifically at the UK constitution, and how it has changed so radically over the last 12 years. We will also debate further changes.
- The PM and Executive Here we will find out what powers the Prime Minister has, and how the PM keeps control. We will also look at the role of the cabinet, and consider what makes a good cabinet minister. We will look at changes to the executive since Blair, and ask if it now has too much power.
- Parliament We will examine the role of parliament, and debate how much power it still has. We will find out how laws are passed, and find out how its powerful committees actually work.
- The Judiciary and Civil Liberties The role of judges in politics has changed a lot in recent years, and we will find out all about these changes here. We will examine the new Supreme Court, and in particular examine the role played by judges in protecting Civil Liberties, one of the most controversial topics in contemporary politics.
A2 – Year 13
Unit 3 – Introduction to political ideologies
In this unit we study in depth the major ideologies- Conservatism, Liberalism, Socialism and Anarchism. For each Ideology, we examine the key thinkers, the different and competing schools of thought, and the practical impacts of these on politics.
Unit 4 – Global Politics
In this unit we find out how the state system works, about international conflict, global terrorism, human rights atrocities and how to combat them, the international environmental crisis, and the developed and developing world.