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Politics

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Politics

"I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians." Charles De Gaulle

Whether you are conscious of it or not, politics shapes your life, from the food you eat to the school you attend and far, far beyond.

In Politics, the political landscape changes every day, with new examples appearing constantly in the media. Picking which examples to use in your answers is really exciting as something that has happened on the day you are taking your A Level exams can appear in your response! It is about the factors shaping both the British and American systems. You will also be studying Political Philosophy which gives you a real breadth of understanding.  It helps in the development of discussion and debating skills and encourages you to think beyond the constraints of a textbook. One main strength though, is that it will give you the knowledge and transferable skills to evaluate and understand some of the most important forces shaping the future of us all.

The short answer is that everyone should study politics - all members of society should have a better understanding of the general rules under which they live.

If you are keen to understand the relationship between political ideas and political institutions as well as the role of the Media and how democratic societies really are, then this is the course for you. A study of Politics will enable you to become more critically aware of the nature of politics and political ideas both in the UK and USA.

"A Level Politics has helped me to understand the intricate details of current affairs in UK and US governments, as well as teaching me theory with which I have formed and can debate my own opinions on the topics that we study. I feel that it has helped me become more analytical and to question what we hear daily in the news." Jenny Elsey, Sixth Form

Politics is offered as an A Level at MSJ, but interest in Politics is seen throughout the school.

Skills

Politics is an academically rigorous subject that will teach you how to argue your point of view cogently and persuasively and how to present a well turned argument, both on paper and orally. The emphasis will be on analysis and investigation. The subject will develop critical skills and writing abilities and as such is very well respected by universities as a rigorous subject.

What is studied?

"I study politics AL because it has helped broaden my knowledge about is going on globally & it is worth it because you learn about necessary writing skills and builds up contextual analysis." Yvonne Ayeni, Sixth Form

You will study the UK political system and evaluate the extent to which it is a ‘democratic’ system of government.

You will study the American political system and assess the health of US federalism.

You will study Political Philosophy right up to the present.

Students will be required to take detailed notes from power points and textbooks, watch news programmes, analyse texts, discuss, do presentations, as well as writing responses from short paragraphs to longer essays.

Destinations

Politics will combine especially well with History, Economics, Languages, Classics, RS, MFL and Geography but also has a significant contribution to make to the understanding of Mathematics and Sciences. It equally complements most subjects because of its immediate relevance and focus on current affairs.

Well regarded by all universities, Politics A-level can lead directly to single subject degrees in Politics or International Relations and Social Sciences and History, and to a wide variety of combined courses, such as PPE. Several MSJ girls have gone on to study similar courses at Oxford, Cambridge and LSE, Warwick, Royal Holloway and other Universities.

There is a considerable range of options open to graduates, including the Media and TV and newspaper journalism, Banking, the Law, the home and diplomatic civil service, local government, business management and political research.

Politics Resources

We have an extensive library of books covering Political Philosophy and comparative Politics. We subscribe to Politics Review and The Economist, as well as a number of broadsheet news and other Politics websites.

Twitter
Keep up to date with Politics at MSJ by following @msj_histpol on Twitter. 

Beyond Lessons…

  • The Guillotine Society combines History & Politics and is student led. Activities include watching films and student led seminars on topics such as Soviet Propaganda and Is Colonialism all bad?
  • Visits to Parliament and the Supreme Court and meetings with MPs.
  • Trip to Washington including a meeting with a Political Lobbyist and Congressman.
  • Model United Nations Society. We hold our own Day Conference for visiting schools for about 250 students with a distinguished speaker, as well as weekly meetings and attend other Conferences.
  • We have held Mock Elections in 2015 and 2017 with over 60 girls involved.
  • ectures. Student attend Lectures in Birmingham and London and invite Political Thinkers and Politicians to MSJ. In 2016 Caroline Lucas MP (OGA), leader of the Green Party came to speak. Previously Melanie Dawes (OGA) Permanent Secretary for the Department for Communities and Local Government also came to speak. Harriett Baldwin MP has met and talked to many girls at MSJ on her visits here.