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Reasons to study this course

  • Politics has never been more relevant.
  • You will develop skills valued by universities and employers including source analysis, evaluation and the ability to construct academic arguments.
  • Politics complements a wide variety of other subjects such as History, Law and English.

What you will need to study this course

  • a real passion and enthusiasm for the news and current affairs
  • an ability to consider different viewpoints
  • good analysis and extended writing skills

What you will study

Year 1 (AS) – referendums, political parties and pressure groups. The Prime Minister’s role and the relationship between different branches of government. 20 ‘key thinkers’ linked to political ideologies such as socialism, liberalism, conservatism and feminism.

Year 2 (A-Level) – US politics examining a variety of topics including the constitution, role of the Supreme Court and presidential powers.

How you will be assessed

Year 1 (AS) – two exams.

Year 2 (A-Level) – three two-hour exams.

Exams are a series of essay-based questions.

Priestley Extra

Visit Parliament, take part in Question Time with local politicians, work with pressure groups and other guest speakers. Overseas study visits to Washington D.C. and New York, as well as European venues.


Politics is a highly respected A-Level that allows access to a wide range of degree courses at university. Past Priestley students have gone on to study History, Law, Philosophy, PPE, and other subjects at Russell Group universities. Politics students are employed in diverse fields from journalism, local government, teaching, the civil service, intelligence services, management and administration, market research, and public relations.

Recommended reading

Keep up to date with politics via news websites and papers as well as @priestleypolitics on Twitter

Other recommended reading:

  • Yvette Cooper, She Speaks
  • AC Grayling, The Good State
  • David Cameron, For the Record
  • Andrew Gimson, Gimson’s Prime Ministers
  • David Runciman, How Democracy Ends

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