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The study of political ideas and UK and US politics. 

Why study Politics? 

Primarily to learn about the big ideas that have shaped the world that you live in such as liberalism, socialism, and conservatism. Politics is a subject full of debate which is always stimulating, challenging, and above all, good fun. 

Politics students are among the highest achieving in the college in terms of grades A*s and A’s and nearly all progress to top universities or superb higher-level apprenticeships in law and Her Majesty’s Civil Service.  

There are as many opportunities as students want to become involved in local politics and meet local MPs and councillors; and many students do work experience with them to enhance their own chances of entering politics in the future.  

What will I study?

There are four main areas of study: 

  • Political ideas: liberalism, socialism, conservatism, and anarchism
  • UK politics: political parties, voting systems, democracy and voting behaviour 
  • UK political system: Parliament, PM and Cabinet and the Supreme Court
  • US politics

Which exam board & how will I be assessed?


Three 2-hour exams. 

Where could it take me?

Degrees at Oxbridge and other Russell Group universities. The overwhelming majority of upper sixth students went on to prestigious universities such as St. Andrews, Manchester, York, Queen’s and Bath. We enjoy a special relationship with the University of Manchester: preparing students for its ‘pre-university’ course from the September of upper sixth. 

Several alumni have careers in law, politics, the civil service, the private sector and education.

Subject combinations

History, Law, Economics, all English courses and Philosophy. 

What support is available?

When you enrol, we’ll make sure that you’re receiving all the support you need.  For example, you may require help structuring essays, or you may be entitled to extra time in your exams. As with all the subjects, academic support is available on request as are revision tutorials. Subject material is readily available electronically and we have access to high quality newspapers and online sources, journals such as politics review, and a whole host of documentaries and podcasts. 

What extracurricular activity is available?

The subject itself offers endless extra-curricular opportunities – with trips to Washington D.C. in the United States, the UK Parliament and Supreme Court and to Model United Nations conferences. Politics students are usually the backbone of the Winstanley Debating Society and national debating events such as Debating Matters competition. We have guest speakers such as Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham who visited us recently in June 2021. 

Did you know?

7 students achieved a place at Oxford University or Cambridge University in 2021. 

A recent Politics student, Harry Baldwin, joined the Civil Service Fast Track immediately after college via the apprenticeship route and worked in the UK Parliament during his first year on the job.