Who are we to argue with one of the greatest philosophers in human history? Politics is not just about what happens in the House of Commons, it involves social, legal, ethical and economic issues that affect us every day.
"Anyone who says they are not interested in politics is like a drowning man who insists he is not interested in water" (Plato) 4th Century BC.
Ever wanted to find out what Margaret Thatcher was really all about?
- Why do we still have a queen and what is her role?
- Why was there an expenses scandal involving our MPs?
- Why is Britain dominated by two political parties?
- Who is calling the shots, Politicians or the media?
'Media people should have long noses like an elephant to smell out politicians, mayors, prime ministers and businessmen. We need to know the reality, the good and the bad, not just the appearance.' (Dalai Lama)
- Why is our voting system seen as unfair and is there a better way?
- Should everybody be made to vote or do we have a right not to vote?
- What comes first, protecting you and me against possible terrorist attacks or defending the rights and freedoms of the individual? Here is a link to the Equality and Human Rights commission.
- Ever shouted at the television while watching Question Time, unimpressed by the politicians and saying that you could do better? (Oh, that'll just be me then).
These are just some of the many political issues that we will cover on this course which will help you understand how our country is run and our rights and responsibilities within that system. By the end of the course you will have developed a much fuller understanding of the political system of this country, its key political ideas and philosophies and the many issues it throws up. You will also have developed crucial transferable skills such as the ability to debate, to analyse written and visual sources and to evaluate complex issues.
You will practise how to construct a balanced and coherent written argument, appreciating different points of view and being able to make comparisons between the British system and those of other countries, such as the USA's, weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches. The course will be invaluable for those going on to study courses like History and Politics and Law at University, while you will also have a much keener understanding of current affairs and key issues developing in the world around.
1st Year Politics
In the first year we study:
- People and Politics: the British political system and how democracy operates in practice; why participation in mainstream politics is declining; the main ideas and policies of the leading UK political parties; the role and function of elections; why there has been a growth in the number and membership of pressure groups in the UK.
- Governing the UK: the unique nature of the UK constitution; the role of Parliament and whether it is effective; the role of the Prime Minister and how the cabinet is formed; the senior levels of the judiciary and their efforts to protect our civil liberties and human rights
2 exam papers of 1 hour 20 minutes.
You can follow a link here to information about the new specification for Politics. Please note that the details may change.
Please refer to our entry requirements for the different programmes of study.
Additional entry requirements for this course: English Language GCSE new grade 4 (or old grade C)
2nd Year Politics
In the second year the focus switches to political ideologies and the reasons they are so important in this era of globalisation.
You will explore:
- The meaning and differences between and within Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism, and Anarchism. You will also study other political philosophies, such as feminism and ecologism, and the reasons why disputes over and between these ideas generate so much debate
Two written examinations of 1 hour 30 minutes.
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