Subject content

There are two broad areas of study in this specification:

  • the government of the UK
  • the politics of the UK.

Students will study the five sections prescribed for the government of the UK and the five sections prescribed for politics of the UK. They will therefore develop a broad understanding of the historical development of government and politics in the UK in order to know and understand in detail contemporary politics in the UK .


In all components of this subject students must demonstrate the following skills:
  • to comprehend and interpret political information
  • to critically analyse and evaluate the areas of politics studied
  • to construct arguments and explanations leading to reasoned conclusions
  • to identify parallels, connections, similarities and differences between aspects of the areas of politics studied
  • to construct and communicate arguments and explanations with relevance, clarity and coherence
  • to use appropriate political vocabulary
  • to make connections between the different areas of politics studied.


An essential element of the assessment of students’ work in AS Politics is the extent to which they display a synoptic or holistic understanding of the subject. To demonstrate this students will be expected to inter-relate areas of content within each module and, when appropriate, across modules, to address the requirements of the exam papers. They must use appropriate concepts and knowledge as well as the skills listed above in developing their answers. Politics, as a subject, is inherently synoptic. The political knowledge, concepts, behaviours and institutions studied in any particular module can often be used and applied to new contexts in other parts of the course. The essay questions are particularly synoptic, giving students the opportunity to draw on and synthesise the knowledge, understanding and skills gained throughout the course.

Guidance on teaching and learning

The specification content is divided into two categories:
  • key concepts and terminology
  • focus.

    Students should understand the meaning of the key concepts and terminolgy as these are implicit in the areas of focus for each section. Some areas require students to demonstrate awareness. These areas are meant to serve as a background to the points that require analysis and evaluation.

Subject content areas