Government and Politics A Level

Due to ongoing reforms, the final opportunity to sit exams for this specification is Summer 2018. Our new course for 2019 exams onwards will be available from Autumn 2017.

Due to the short amount of time left until the Summer 2018 exam session, we advise students to reconsider moving their exam intention to Summer 2019 and enrolling on our new course. If you do decide to go ahead with 2018 exams, the deadline for enrolling is 30th Novtember and we strongly recommend adding our Fast Track service to your enrolment. After this final date you would need to enrol on our new course.

Politics is a fascinating and complex subject, and this home study A level course will provide you with a firm grasp of its underlying principles and systems. As well as teaching you about how the UK is governed, you’ll also learn about how it integrates with the EU, how UK politics is changing, the advantages and shortcomings of different political systems, how elections work and the make-up of the British constitution. In short you’ll cover every aspect of how government and politics work, and gain a different perspective on how politicians reach the decisions that affect every aspect of our lives. This distance learning programme is perfect for anyone with an interest in politics and political systems, and aside from the obvious usefulness of the qualification for anyone wishing to pursue a career in politics, it also encourages analytical thought and the consideration of different perspectives. Full details of the course can be found below.

Would you prefer to pay for your course by instalments? Please see the ‘How to enrol’ section below for details of our low cost, interest free finance available.



Entry requirements

No formal qualifications are required, but essay-writing skills are advisable.

This is an online course so you will also need easy access to the internet.


This course follows specifications 8GP01 (AS) and 9GP01 (A2) from the awarding organisation Edexcel. Full details of the specifications can be obtained from Edexcel's website.

Hours of study

As a guideline, you should allow for between 250 and 300 hours' study time, plus additional time for completing assignments. You will have tutor support for a period up until the final exam opportunity in Summer 2018.

Exams and assessment

Four exams:

  • 1 hour 30 minutes, 25% of marks
  • 1 hour 30 minutes, 25% of marks
  • 1 hour 20 minutes, 25% of marks
  • 1 hour 20 minutes, 25% of marks

Non-exam assessment (NEA):

  • None

At the time of writing, please note that due to upcoming changes the final opportunity to sit exams for this course is Summer 2018. For full details view our guide to the A level reforms.

NEC's tutor-marked assignments:

  • 1 introductory assignment
  • 6 AS assignments
  • 8 A2 assignments


Additional information

Your course is delivered online through learn@nec, so it’s important that you have access to a computer and the internet. We recommend that your computer is using one of the following operating systems and browsers to improve your experience of using learn@nec:

Operating systems:

  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OSX 10.7 or later
  • Google Chrome OS
  • Android 4.4 or later, using the Chrome browser
  • iOS 6 or later, using the Safari browser


  • Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari 6 or later
  • Internet Explorer 10 or later (excluding IE11)

learn@nec may work on other operating systems and browsers with some restrictions. You can see full details of the system requirements by clicking here.

How to enrol

How to enrol
There are several ways to enrol with NEC:

  • Click the ‘Enrol now’ button above
  • Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team
  • Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.

How can you pay?
It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or spread the cost with our finance offer. To pay in instalments, you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative examples:

For the full A level
Course fee:  
Amount of credit:  
Monthly payment:  
Duration of agreement:  
Total repayable:  
Rate of interest:  
0% APR representative.  
  6 months

For AS level or A2 level
Course fee:  
Amount of credit:  
Monthly payment:  
Duration of agreement:  
Total repayable:  
Rate of interest:  
0% APR representative.  
  6 months
  0% (fixed)

The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.

Deko is a trading name of Pay4Later Ltd who act as a credit intermediary. They are registered in England and Wales (company number 06447333) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 728646). For more information please go to or visit

Unit 1: People and politics

  • Introduction to government and politics
  • Democracy and political participation
  • Party policies and ideas
  • Elections
  • Elections and electoral reform
  • Pressure groups

Unit 2: Governing the UK

  • The constitution
  • Constitutional reforms in the UK
  • Parliament
  • The Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Judges and civil liberties

Unit 3: Key themes in political analysis

  • Elections and voting
  • Political parties
  • Pressure groups
  • Racial and ethnic politics

Unit 4: Extended themes in political analysis

  • The constitution
  • Congress
  • The presidency
  • The Supreme Court
Including area code and country code (if outside of UK)

A Level Government and Politics Course Sample

Thank you for your interest in this course.

Please fill out your details below, and you will receive an email containing a link to download the course sample.

What our students say...

"I did a degree in history, missed a first by a gnat’s wing. Later I picked up an MA, a PGCSE and a post-graduate museums diploma, and since then, several career-based qualifications. None of this would have happened without the chance NEC gave me. I still remember sitting up into the early hours, listening to Bruce Springsteen for inspiration and writing essays."
— David Tucker