Bangor Grammar School



Mr Kevin Dickey

Mr Caelan Moreland

Subject Overview

Studying politics enhances students’ understanding of political issues and the impact of politics on their daily lives.  Students learn how to think critically about the political systems in which they live, as well as develop research, analytical and communication skills.  Politics suits those who enjoy lively debates and take an interest in current affairs.


The examination results in Politics are consistently at or above the Northern Ireland average for boys in Grammar Schools.

Key Stage 4

This new GCSE course offers students the opportunity to explore local, national and international politics. The course delivered in Year 11 largely focuses on British politics. Topics such as political parties, pressure groups and rights will be studied alongside the UK Parliament, Northern Ireland Assembly and the role of the media.  Political ideas - namely democracy, power and dictatorship - will also be studied.  Topics will include:

  • Political participation - Should we lower the voting age to 16?
  • Election systems - How are MLAs and MPs in Northern Ireland elected?
  • Media - What is the role of the media in a democratic society?

The course delivered in Year 12 allows students to explore organisations that operate globally (e.g. the UN) and their responses to issues such as conflict resolution and migration. Students will also examine the local and national response of governments, individuals and groups to political issues.  Topics will include:

  • EU - Arguments for and against membership of the EU.
  • UN - Could the UN have prevented the Rwandan genocide?
  • NATO - How effective is NATO in managing conflict?
  • Conflict resolution in Northern Ireland - What does the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission do? 
  • Migration - Is the UK’s response to increased migration justified?

Specification: CCEA Politics

Key Stage 5

A Level Politics offers the opportunity to explore both the British and American political systems in considerable depth.  This course suits those who enjoy lively discussions/debates and take an interest in current affairs.  Politics can be a good choice with subjects such as History, Geography, Philosophy and English or with subjects such as Science and Mathematics to provide breadth.

The qualification has been designed to provide students with a balanced education in politics, is well resourced and academically rigorous.  In Year 13, we will examine the nature of politics and how people engage in the political process in the UK.  We will also explore the nature of the UK’s government and key political ideas, such as feminism, conservatism and liberalism.  In Year 14, we will explore the government and politics of the US, and begin to compare and contrast their institutions with those in the UK.

Specification: Edexcel Politics

Career Opportunities

Students who study this course may be interested in careers in politics, business, law, media, journalism, international relations, civil service, charity work and more.  Having a detailed understanding of local, national and international politics and being able to argue and debate ideas are skills that can be applied to a wide range of future studies and careers.

Educational Visits and Speakers

GCSE students visit Stormont annually where they meet and question MLAs from all the major parties.  

Students also benefit from a number of visits from prominent politicians and lecturers.