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AS GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

COURSE HANDBOOK 2011/12


ncn High Pavement Sixth Form College

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Politics: the science and art of government. (The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary)

“if you don’t do politics, what do you do?” Politics influences everyone in modern society on a daily basis – and we all have some ideas about how it should do this! Politics exists on all levels – from being a member of a group or society like a sports club, to being an active member of a political party. Politics offers an opportunity for everyone to become involved in how society is organised and maintained: but what forms can this involvement take?

”I don’t like politics, it’s boring!” Politics changes all the time: a dynamic subject based on continuous debate and exchange of opinion (often heated exchange!) Personalities, passion and power: politics may be many things, but not boring!!

Why study Government & Politics?  You will learn about power in our society: who has it, and how it is used on many levels.  You will learn to evaluate existing systems: by identifying in whose interests they operate, for example.  You will develop your understanding of political ideas: the difference between left and right for instance, as well as other theoretical perspectives.  You will be able discuss and debate contemporary issues and events. 3


Your Government and Politics lessons should only play a part in extending your knowledge and understanding of the huge topic of “politics�. In order to help your understanding, you can also do the following:

READ a selection of newspapers and magazines: Available via the LRC

WATCH some of the many news, documentaries and analysis shows ie:

Newsnight: weekdays, 8pm

The Andrew Marr Show, Sundays, 9am

SURF the many different websites:

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BLOG via the AS Government & Politics course blog at www.asgovandpol.blogspot.com – you will need to subscribe first. If you’re reading this digitally, click on the blog (right) to follow the link.

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What did past students think about Government & Politics? “I chose politics out of interest. From there, my interest has grown. Now I have applied to study politics at university and hope to continue into a career in politics or international relations”

“I did not really know what to do at HP and chose politics, but now I really enjoy it and want to go on to study international politics at university. HP was a really good choice because the teachers make the

I took Politics because I find the subject interesting … the staff at HP are great and are really interested in what they teach and in helping the students. The course is really good and the A2 modules are fascinating.

subject really interesting”

I took politics at HP because I was fed up of not understanding much about government. The lessons are enjoyable and the course involved debates and discussions, as well as some pretty interesting visits. Now I’ve taken politics I will be able to make a much more informed decision when I get to vote.

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Politics has been challenging but I have learned about the political system and how society works. I took politics because I was also taking Sociology and was interested to learn more about the political system in our society. I would like to take these subjects as a joint degree at university


GOVERNMENT & POLITICS Government & Politics will be taught by 2 teachers: Amanda Brooks & David Morgan You will be studying the Edexcel syllabus and during the AS year you will study 2 units: Unit 1 – People & Politics Unit 2 - Governing the UK These units are each divided into 4 topics and we will look at each of these in turn. Each of these will be assessed by written examination, lasting one hour and 20 mins.

Both AS units will be examined in May/June 2011 respectively. There is no coursework in Government & Politics, however you will be asked to complete a number of assessments and practice exams throughout the year, which your teachers will discuss with you. You should regard completing these assignments as compulsory.

AS Specification – at a Glance 8GP01 AS Government & Politics Unit

Method

Length/ Objectives Weighting

Unit 1 – People & Politics

Written – 2 structured 1 hour 20 questions from a choice of 4 50%

Unit 2 – Written – 1 stimulus & 1 1 hour 20 Governing the extended question, each UK from choice of 2 50%

% of total A Level

AO1 – 50% AO2 – 30% AO3 – 20%

25%

As above

As above

The AS qualification forms 50% of the full A2 Advanced qualification. Your teachers will discuss the content and examinations for the second year with you. 7


AIMS OF THE COURSE AS Government & Politics is a knowledge based course: this means the exams are designed to allow you to show your knowledge and understanding of the subjects you have learnt about. The examinations board clearly tells us what it requires students studying this course to achieve.

The syllabus compromises 3 Assessment Objectives:

AO1

Knowledge & Understanding: of relevant political concepts and theories

50%

AO2

Analyse & Evaluate political information, arguments & explanations, and identify differing relationships between aspects of the political system

30%

AO3

Communicate Arguments & Explanations in a clear and relevant manner using political vocabulary

20%

Students are also encouraged to:  Refer to current political debates to show issues and examples  Develop knowledge and understanding of the UK political system – including local, national and European Union dimensions  Develop a capacity for critical thinking  Show knowledge and understanding of government and politics This may sound like a great deal – but you will soon find that you will accomplish and apply these processes without realising you are doing so!

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Government & Politics – links to other subjects The study of politics, in various guises has been around for many years. It complements a number of other subjects on the AS/A2 system, particularly Sociology, Critical Thinking, Psychology, Law, and History. This does not mean that it does not go equally well with a number of other subject combinations! Universities offer a huge range of politics based courses, either alone or combined with any number of other subjects.

Government & Public Policy American Political Systems

Comparative Government

Politics at HE

International Relations

Political Ideas

Political Theory/ Ideology

European Politics

These degrees can lead to a huge variety of careers: in both public and private sectors, for example the Home Office, Foreign Office, social services, housing and environmental services, as well as blue chip companies offering graduate training programmes, or carrying out further post-graduate study and research. Studying politics does not mean you qualify to become a politician – unless you want to!! But it does mean you choose a lively, stimulating and dynamic subject which you should find interesting and enjoyable!

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course handbook