Government & Politics – A Level
The Lansdowne Government & Politics course looks at domestic British politics at AS Level and moves on to look at political ideologies at A2. This subject is especially popular with History students as it makes frequent reference to and is closely related to historical issues and events. As G M Trevelyan once memorably said: ‘History is past politics and politics is present history’.
A study of politics will empower you to engage with the world around you. It will help you make informed decisions in local, European and mayoral elections, and call governments to account in national elections. Complacency is the biggest danger in modern society: it is essential, therefore, that voters are able to judge the actions of their elected representatives.
What will I study in Government & Politics?
AS Units 1 & 2
People and Politics and Governing the UK: These units look at democracy and political participation, party policies and ideas, elections and pressure groups, the Constitution, Parliament, Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Judges and Civil Liberties. You will acquire a good grasp of the broad sweep of British history, a working knowledge of British political history since 1945, and detailed knowledge from 1979 onwards. It is essential that you supplement work done in class with regular engagement with all forms of news media as this is very much an ‘up-to-the-minute’ subject.
A2 Units 3 & 4
Introducing Political Ideologies and Other Ideological Traditions: These units look at broad political ideologies such as Liberalism, Conservatism and Socialism as well as Nationalism, Feminism, Ecologism and Multiculturalism. You will build on knowledge acquired at AS Level as well as engaging with new material. You will need to combine a sound knowledge of historical background with a detailed understanding of the latest developments with regard to political parties and their policy positions on a range of issues. In this respect, use needs to be made of internet resources, in particular party websites.
How will I be assessed?
The course is assessed by short answer questions, extended questions and essays.
Do I need to have studied Government & Politics before?
GCSE History would prove useful to Government & Politics students, particularly if the course focused on modern topics. It is, however, by no means essential.
Who will teach me?
Richard McMillan has an MA (Hons) degree from Cambridge University and a PhD from London University. He is an A Level examiner, a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and the author of a book on decolonisation which has been favourably reviewed in academic journals both in Britain and overseas. He has been teaching at Lansdowne since 2002.
David Callard is a BA (Hons) graduate from Southampton University. He is an A Level examiner and has over twenty years experience teaching A Level in a variety of schools and colleges. He has taught at Lansdowne since 2006.
Which subjects complement Government & Politics?
Government & Politics intersects with academic disciplines such as History, English Literature, Law, Economics.
What careers can Government & Politics lead to?
Government & Politics is a respected subject which has the added advantage of enabling students to keep their options open. Politics graduates are very much in demand with the professions: many go on to train as lawyers and accountants or pursue careers in the world of banking and business. The subject can also be a prelude to a career in local or national government.