About the course

  • The department is a member of the Politics Association.
  • The department belongs to the British Association for American studies.
  • We have links with the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library.
  • Annual subscriptions are made for the journals Politics Review and Talking Politics.
  • There is an annual trip/conference to Westminster.
  • There is an annual conference on American politics attended by two US Congressmen.
  • We hope to repeat our trip to the United States.
  • Our students have met Boris Johnson, William Hague, Tony Benn and Margaret Thatcher.
  • When appropriate, students assist in running a school election.

Do not be put off by the word ‘politics’. This owes much to the current perception that the topic is dull and that its practitioners are less than honest. These are important issues and worth exploring seriously. If you do so, we guarantee that you will modify your perception.

Politics is inescapable. For better or worse, man is a social animal and so it has been essential for him to work out how best to associate with his fellow human beings. In short, it is the art of government.

From a practical and educational point of view, it is also worth noting that you almost certainly will be voting in the next general election. How should you decide? What are the choices on offer? How does the system work? What are my rights – and how can I guarantee them, and if necessary, protest? And further afield, why is President Obama so exciting?

Politics is an excellent subject for honing your reading and writing skills – as well as for providing endless opportunities for debate. As such, it fits well with any other literary subject notably history, English or geography. It also gives you the chance to try something different from the various subjects you followed at GCSE.

Many of our students have gone on to politics or politics-related degrees at university. The rigour and skills imparted by the subject are well recognised by employers. Our former students now include barristers and journalists - but as yet no prime ministers. Will you be the first?

How will I study?

Although the lessons will predominantly consist of teacher-led presentations, there is plenty of scope for student-led case studies on the main topic areas. Traditional text books are supplemented by topic books and larger works on the major areas of the syllabus. Perhaps most useful, because they are more up to date, are specialist articles. It is also a course requirement to keep abreast of current affairs through reading quality newspapers and watching current affairs programmes. The internet is especially useful for accessing American current affairs.

What do I need to start the course?

You will not have studied this at GCSE! However, you will have an interest in current affairs and/or modern history. You will also need good literary skills. A grade ‘B’ or above in English at GCSE is strongly recommended.

For full course specification please visit http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/by-subject/government-and-politics/

Mrs Newhall, Head of Department


 Government and Politics pupils visit the Houses of Parliament in London as part of their study programme

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About Hampshire Collegiate School

Hampshire Collegiate School near Romsey is an independent school for boys and girls 2–18. Our 130 acre site – once home to Florence Nightingale – includes beautiful Grade II listed woodland gardens, sports pitches and educational facilities. We combine an ‘academic ambition’ programme with development of a wide range of skills and interests for every pupil.

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