Whether we realise it or not, politics has a huge impact on our everyday lives: it's in the decisions we make, the laws we follow and the way we're governed. Not only is politics enduringly relevant, but studying it also helps develop key skills such as the ability to interpret and explain complex ideas and form sound arguments with critical judgement.
In this AQA A-level Politics course, you'll explore the different governmental systems and political parties in the UK. Then you'll take a close look at how elections work, considering voting behaviour and referendums, as well as the ideologies that influence elections and government decisions. You'll gain a solid understanding of the politics of the USA, learning about the key aspects of authority, the relations between institutions and political ideologies and discerning the differences between UK and US systems.
What you'll learn
Unit 1 - The government of the UK
To begin, you’ll take a look at the British constitution and its key principles. You’ll identify key terms such as statute law, common law and parliamentary sovereignty. You’ll examine the strengths and weaknesses of the British constitution and various modern reforms that have taken place. You’ll take an in-depth look at the branches of the British government, the structure of parliament and the role of the UK Prime Minister. Finally, you’ll investigate the topic of devolution and what it means in relation to the UK political system.
Unit 2 - Politics of the UK
You’ll open unit two by studying democracy and participation, learning what is meant by a ‘direct’ and ‘representative’ democracy and which is better. You’ll examine how democracy operates in the UK, along with some of its positive and negative aspects. Moving on, you’ll study political parties and pressure groups, understanding the role they play in UK politics and how they seek to influence policy. Finally, you’ll take a look at the European Union, its history and structure, along with the significance of Britain’s decision to leave.
Unit 3 - The government of the USA
In unit three of this Government and Politics A-level course, you’ll study the constitutional framework of the US government, the key principles of its constitution and the relevance it holds for the people of the US today. Next, you’ll look at the legislative, executive and judiciary, understanding the structure and function of each and how they interact with one another.
Unit 4 - Politics of the USA
Next, you’ll look at the electoral process in America, including the electoral college system, abstention and incumbency. You’ll take a look at the various factors which can determine the outcome of an election in the US, including the media and funding. Moving on, you’ll examine political parties in the US, including party decline and renewal and how independent candidates operate. Finally, you’ll study the role of pressure groups, along with key landmarks in the civil rights movement which altered US politics forever.
Unit 5 - Comparative politics
Unit five of A-level Politics will focus on a comparison between the government and politics of the US and the UK, evaluating the similarities and differences between them. You’ll look at constitutional arrangements, the role of the President and Prime Minister, legislatures, executives and the judiciaries. You’ll also examine the similarities and differences between the electoral and party systems in the US and UK, including the role of third-party and independent candidates. Lastly, you’ll look at the role and evolution of pressure groups and civil rights movements within both political systems.
Unit 6 - Core ideologies
Unit six will focus on the core ideologies within politics. You’ll examine:
- Liberalism, including its classical and modern forms.
- Conservativism, including traditional conservativism and the ‘new right’.
- Socialism, including revolutionary socialism and social democracy.
Unit 7 - Other ideologies
In the final unit of Politics A-level, you’ll look at other ideologies that have shaped politics, both in the US and the UK. You’ll examine nationalism, feminism, multiculturalism, anarchism and ecologism.
AQA qualifications are internationally recognised and taught in 30 countries around the world, highly valued by employers and universities and enable young people to progress to the next stage of their lives. AQA qualifications suit a range of abilities and include GCSE courses, IGCSE courses and A-level courses.
Upon successful completion of this distance learning course, you will receive an A-level certificate in Politics, issued by AQA. Your certificate is identical to that issued to students at any other school, college or university in the UK.
This syllabus (7152) has been chosen by Oxbridge because it is the best suited to online learning and we believe it provides the best chance of success.
How is this course assessed or examined?
You can enrol now for AQA Politics A-level examinations for Summer 2024.
You'll be required to complete three standard A-level written exams:
- Paper 1: 2 hours, 33.3% of A-level, 77 marks.
- Paper 2: 2 hours, 33.3% of A-level, 77 marks.
- Paper 3: 2 hours, 33.3% of A-level, 77 marks.
These exams contain a mixture of short and long answer questions and extended response questions.
A GCSE or equivalent in History is recommended for this course. This AQA A-level Politics syllabus is a difficulty level three: an A-level or BTEC equivalent difficulty, usually suitable for most learners of all ages.