About the Department
The Government and Politics Department consists of three specialist teachers who deliver the Government & Politics course. Each member of the department is an experienced teacher with a proven track-record of outstanding academic results. The department produces a consistent number of pupils going on to study Politics or Politics-related degree courses at university.
We have an outstanding academic record at A Level:
2019 results - A Level Government and Politics – 71% of all grades at A*/B
Subject Content & Syllabus
Students who study Government and Politics at A Level will follow the AQA syllabus, through which they will develop an understanding of both the UK political system and also that of the USA. In addition, they will be taught about the differing ideologies which have often formed the bedrock of political thought; liberalism, socialism and conservatism.
Component 1: UK Politics
This unit explores the nature of politics and how people engage in the political process in the UK. In this unit students deal with the nature of the British constitution, the structure and role of Parliament, the power of the Prime Minister, as well as the core themes relating to democracy, elections, political parties and pressure groups.
Component 2: The Government and Politics of the USA and Comparative Politics
This unit introduces students to the major governmental processes within the USA and encourages them to compare it with that of the UK. This unit deals with the constitutional framework of the US government, the electoral process, political parties and pressure groups. In the second half of the unit they will develop comparisons between the systems of the UK and the USA.
Component 3: Political Ideas
In this unit students will learn about the subject of political ideologies and will examine the major ideas of liberalism, conservatism, socialism and nationalism. They will be required to study the core elements of each ideology, as well as the different varieties which exist within each belief system.
Monitoring & Assessment
At A Level, pupils are monitored and assessed at the end of each term. The department as a whole are always available should individual pupils need additional support or advice. Public examinations are taken at the end of Year 13.
All pupils will have the opportunity to visit the Houses of Parliament in either Year 12 or 13, during which they will receive a tour of the Commons and also have the chance to participate in a mock Select Committee debate.
All pupils will go on a political walking tour of Manchester concentrating on Marx and Engels to supplement their understanding of socialism.
Should the opportunity arise, pupils will be expected to take part in any mock elections that the department decides to arrange. In recent years we have held very successful mock general elections and most recently a mock EU referendum.
The department organises a Politics Forum, through which university lecturers visit the school to deliver lectures and chair seminar discussions.
Students who study Government and Politics have access to a wide range of career and degree opportunities. Students acquire a good working knowledge of both the UK and US systems of government and develop analytical skills valuable to universities and employers. Students studying this subject have gone into a number of careers, from law, journalism and business to speech writing for politicians in the UK, EU and the USA. As a full Politics degree or combined honours degree with History, Economics, Philosophy or a language, politics will provide undergraduates with an attractive foundation for their future.