Syllabus: Edexcel

1 - Why study Politics?

Individuals today are bombarded with soundbites of information designed to discourage critical thought and simplify complex social and political issues. Social media echo-chambers mean individuals are at risk of becoming increasingly narrow in their understanding and interpretation of society-changing events. It is all too easy to agree without thought, retweet without analysis and cite unsubstantiated opinion as fact.

In such a climate, it is more essential than ever that young people are versed in a political literacy that allows them to explore these issues sensitively, critically and with authority. You are the people who will guide, challenge and drive the policies of the future, whether this is through an explicit career pathway into the political sector or as an informed citizen exercising your democratic rights.

In the Politics Department at Eltham Hill we therefore strive to ensure you have the critical thinking skills, real-world knowledge and political literacy needed to engage with this process. An understanding of politics allows you to be active and informed participants in your world.

2 - What will you study? 

Year 12

UK Politics: Democracy and Participation / Electoral Systems
Core Ideologies: Liberalism and Socialism

UK Politics: Political Parties / Voting Behaviour and the Media
Core Ideologies: Conservatism
Optional ideology: ONE from feminism, multiculturalism, nationalism, anarchism, ecologism

UK Government: The Constitution / Parliament / The Prime Minister and the Executive

Year 13

UK Government: Relations Between the Branches
Global Politics: 1. The State and Globalisation / 2. Global Governance: Political and Economic / 3. Global Governance Human Rights and Environmental

Global Politics: 4. Power and Developments / 5. Regionalism and the EU / 6. Comparative Theories

3 - How will you be assessed?

The course is assessed through 3 2-hour exams at the end of year 13. There is no coursework for Politics.

Paper 1 – UK Politics and Core Ideologies

  • 1 x 30-mark source based essay out of a choice of 2 (UK Politics)
  • 1 x 30-mark non-source based essay out of a choice of 2 (UK Politics)
  • 1 x 24-mark essay out of a choice of 2 (core ideologies)

Paper 2 – UK Government and Optional Ideology

  • 1 x 30-mark source based essay out of a choice of 2 (UK Government)
  • 1 x 30-mark non-source based essay out of a choice of 2 (UK Government)
  • 1 x 24-mark essay out of a choice of 2 (optional ideology)

Paper 3 – Global Politics

  • 1 x 12-mark comparative essay out of a choice of 2 (Global Politics – sections 1-5)
  • 1 x 12-mark comparative essay – no choice (Global Politics – section 6)
  • 2 x 30-mark essays out of a choice of 3 (Global Politics – sections 1-5)

4 - What skills will you develop?

Explanation – learn how to explain key political ideas, events and processes using key terminology effectively.

Interpretation – develop your skills in understanding and interpreting data in different forms including written and numerical sources.

Analysis – discuss from different perspectives the consequences, advantages, disadvantages, implications of and links between key political ideas, events and processes.

Evaluation – form well-evidenced judgements about key political ideas, events and processes.

Communication – practice organising your thoughts and communicating them clearly and precisely through a variety of different mediums including discussion and debate.

5 - What makes a good Politics student?

A good politics student will…

  • Strive to understand multiple viewpoints, - those they agree with and those they don’t.
  • Communicate effectively and respectfully through different mediums and to a variety of audiences, including discussion and debate.
  • Actively seek to understand today’s politics with a keen eye on current affairs.
  • Regularly revisit key information so they can use it expertly in lessons and exams.
  • Actively seek out others' opinions in order to challenge and critique their own.
  • Understand that often there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and many viewpoints have merit.
  • Always question their beliefs and assumptions to understand their motivations.
  • Be resilient in the face of challenges and see obstacles as opportunities for development.
  • Avoid jumping to conclusions and always seek to understand the ‘why’.
  • Engage constructively with feedback to improve their work.

6 - Where can Politics lead?

As Politics is an excellent subject that develops a wide range of transferable critical thinking skills, those who study politics are well-equipped for further study for a wide range of professions including:

  • A career in politics
  • Law
  • Teaching
  • Activism / pressure group work
  • Charity work
  • A career in the civil service
  • Journalism

7 - Reading list and preparation

Keep abreast of current affairs through any respected news outlet: in print, online, through podcasts or radio or on the TV. Some outlets include:

  • The Week
  • The Guardian
  • The Telegraph
  • The Times
  • Independent (online only)
  • The Economist
  • BBC News
  • The New Statesman
  • Official Prime Minister’s Question Time
  • The News Quiz
  • The Today Programme
  • Today in Parliament
  • Any Questions / Any Answers
  • PM
  • Talking Politics
  • The Moral Maze
  • Talking Politics: History of Ideas

8 - Stretch and challenge resources

The following will give you an overview of the UK political system

  • Abell, S. (2019). How Britain Really Works: Understanding the Ideas and Institutions of a Nation. John Murray ISBN: 978-1473658424
  • Marr, A (2017). The History of Modern Britain. Pan. ISBN: 978-1509839667 (Also a 5-episode documentary on BBC iPlayer)
  • Loughlin, M (2013). The British Constitution: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0199697694
  • Grayson, R.S. (2016). British Politics: A Beginners Guide. Oneworld Publications ISBN: 978-1780748788
  • Wright, A (2020). British Politics: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press ISBN: 978-0198827320
  • Crewe, E, (2015). Commons and Lords: A Short Anthropology of Parliament. Haus Publishing Ltd. ISBN: 978-1910376072
  • Cowley, P. & Ford, R (2019). Sex, Lies and Politics: The Secret Influences That Drive our Political Choices. Biteback Publishing ISBN: 978-1785905063
  • King, A. (2015). Who Governs Britain? Pelican. ISBN: 978-0141980652


Get Directions