Government And Politics


Magazine Article

Banbridge Academy Magazine 2015-2016: Politics Article

Aims And Vision

‘Just because you do not take an interest in politics, does not mean politics won’t take an interest in you.

This was true when Pericles said it two thousand years ago and it is equally true today. Our lives are affected at every level by political decisions, whether we are aware of this or not.

Studying Government and Politics helps to create a critical awareness of the factors that affect political decisions. As a subject it is of interest to those who are interested in finding out why governments do what they do – and whether what they did was right.

Government and Politics appeals to those who aspire to think critically and argue coherently and who want to develop excellent communication skills. It also encourages young people to become actively involved as citizens. The skills that it promotes are directly relevant to many vocational areas and are valued by employers. The subject also prepares young people for a wide variety of higher education courses, not only Government and Politics.

Our overall aims are:

  • To give students a real insight into the world in which they live;
  • To develop knowledge and understanding of a range of political systems;
  • To develop an interest in and enthusiasm for contemporary politics
  • To encourage pupils to look at events from different perspectives;
  • To give each student the confidence to share and debate their own opinions and develop a respect for the opinions of others;
  • To provide a basis for further study;
  • To encourage students to become independent learners;

Government and Politics is taught at AS and A2 levels. Students study 2 units in each year.

AS Government and Politics

Module 1: The Government and Politics of Northern Ireland

  • The Northern Ireland Assembly
  • The Executive Committee
  • The Northern Ireland Political Parties

Module 2: The British Political Process

  • Parliament – the House of Commons and the House of Lords
  • Executive – the Prime Minster and Cabinet
  • The British Judiciary
  • Pressure and Interest Groups in the United Kingdom

A2 Government And Politics

Module 1: Option B: A Comparative Study of the Government and Politics of the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom

  • The Government and Politics of the Republic of Ireland – the legislative branch
  • The Government and Politics of the Republic of Ireland – the executive branch
  • Comparative Government

Module 2: Option B – Political Ideas

  • S Mill and ‘On Liberty’
  • Edmund Burke and ‘Reflections on the Revolution in France’
  • Marx and Engels and the ‘Communist Manifesto’
  • Liberalism
  • Conservatism
  • Socialism


AS 1 – 1 external exam – 1 hr and 15 minutes

AS 2 – 1 external exam – 1 hr and 45 minutes

A2 1 – 1 external exam – 2 hrs and 15 minutes

A2 2 – 1 external exam – 1 hr and 30 minutes

No Coursework

Departmental Activities

  • Visit to Stormont
  • Visit to London
  • Panel events
  • Programme of Speakers
  • Local Democracy activities
  • Election events
  • Bar Mock Trial

Career Opportunities

Government and Politics is a subject that demands and develops skills of analysis and evaluation.

It will sharpen the analytical and investigative faculties that are vital to success in many jobs and all further study. Government and Politics is directly relevant to the study of a number of university courses and occupations from Law to History, Business Studies and Finance to Government Services and Politics itself.

Past pupils have gone on to work in a range of fields including Politics, Journalism, Law, Economics, Teaching, the Civil Service, Accountancy, Occupational Therapy and Business and Finance.