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Politicians have huge power over us, but how much power do we have over politicians? With
so many unexpected and unpredictable political events taking place in the UK and further
afield in recent years, the study of Politics has never been more relevant. It is the perfect
subject for those with enquiring minds and a desire to find out what is going on in the world
today and why.

Edexcel 9PL0

This course allows you to study contemporary politics and develop a strong understanding of
the factors shaping both the British and American systems. You will also gain insight into
some of the great political ideas that have shaped the world we live in. Studying politics
helps in the development of discussion and debating skills and encourages you to think
beyond the constraints of a textbook. Over two years, you will explore questions such as:
‘What is Brexit all about?’, ‘Is Britain truly democratic?’, ‘Why are guns and race such big
issues in America?’, and look at the influence of significant political thinkers such as Edmund
Burke, Karl Marx and Mary Wollstonecraft.

Course content

  • Component 1: UK Politics and Core Political Ideas - UK Politics: Democracy and Participation; Political Parties; Electoral Systems; Voting behaviour and Core Political Ideas: Conservatism, Liberalism and Socialism.

  • Component 2: UK Government and Non-Core Political Ideas - UK Government: the Constitution; Parliament; Prime Minister and Executive; Relationships between the Branches of Government and Non-Core Political Ideas: Nationalism and/or Anarchism.

  • Component 3: Comparative Politics (USA) - The US Constitution and Federalism; US Congress; US Presidency; US Supreme Court and Civil Rights; Democracy and Participation; Comparative Theories.


Paper 1: UK Political and Core Political Ideas – 2 hours, 33.3%
1 x Essay on UK Politics (30 marks)
1 x Source Question on UK Politics (30 Marks)
1 x Essay on Political Ideas (24 Marks)

Paper 2: UK Government and Non-Core Political Ideas – 2 hours, 33.3%
1 x Essay on UK Government (30 marks)
1 x Source Question on UK Government (30 Marks)
1 x Essay on Political Ideas (24 Marks) 

Paper 3: Comparative Politics (USA) – 2 hours, 33.3%
2 x Short Questions on comparison between UK and US Politics (12 marks each)
2 x Essays on US Politics (30 marks each)