Politics is unpredictable, dynamic, it affects us, and it is about us. In one sense the canvas is us; a projection of ourselves and our aspirations, a measure of our ability to live together. Politics is arguably the most important focus of study on the human condition.
This is an exciting time to study Politics given you will be studying the new A Level specification that began just last year. It is taught coeducationally with LHS and LAS providing pupils with a stimulating course of study in a mature environment that will well equip pupils for their examinations and the demands of university. There are no preconditions for studying it at A Level, but pupils need to be aware that they will be expected to read widely and have an interest in current affairs. A strong performance in humanities-based subjects at GCSE is an advantage.
An A Level, or even Degree, in Politics is incredibly versatile. In the longer term Politics will also prepare you for many forms of employment, given that you will gain analytical and practical skills that are invaluable in a contemporary competitive employment market. Occupations that view Politics as being a real asset include: researchers, broadcasters, journalists, local government officers, civil servants, pollsters, lobbyists, teachers, lawyers, financiers & bankers, the health service, public relations, the police and military, management training and a wide range of business opportunities.
A Level Politics
The focus for your first year study will cover: Voting & the Media; Democracy in the UK; Prime Minsters & the Cabinet; Political Parties; Relationships between the Branches of Government; the UK Constitution; Parliament; Elections and some fascinating core Political Ideologies (e.g. Conservatism; Liberalism, Socialism, Nationalism & Feminism). In addition to topics on UK government, we also explore the politics of UK and the EU, which is timely post-Brexit!
In Year 2 focus shifts to a study of the American political system. We live in an era that the political historian Walter Lafeber correctly describes as ‘The American Age’, consequently an understanding of US government and politics is increasingly relevant. Topics here include: Congress, the US Constitution, the Presidency, Civil Rights, US & the Supreme Court. This has unfailing been a popular subject with consecutive pupils for some years in this department.
As pupils of Politics you will automatically become members of the Politics Society which meets fortnightly. Additionally, there are various trips to the cinema to see subject related films and numerous visiting speakers (MPs, a US Congressman, academics etc.).The Department organises a trip to the Politics pupils’ national conference, an annual tour of the Houses of Parliament and Supreme Court, as well as a bi-annual trip to Washington, Philadelphia and New York.