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Politics AS Level

Pearson Edexcel

AS level Politics

Referendums, elections, nationalism, socialism … gain a deeper understanding of today’s hot political issues through our AS level Politics online course.

From Brexit to Trump … our newsfeeds are full of the endless twists and turns of political life. If you have an enquiring mind and want to discover what lies behind the headlines – now is a great time to study politics.

Our AS level Politics online course focuses on the UK political system and its history, institutions and processes. You’ll also discuss and explore politics in the US, to compare and contrast the UK and US systems.

As you progress, you’ll gain valuable research, analysis and critical thinking skills. If you’re considering a career in politics or would like to enter higher education, this relevant, engaging course is the ideal choice.

Why study Politics?

What power does the UK’s Prime Minister really have? How did Trump become President? Why is Brexit happening? Study AS level Politics online and gain the wider knowledge you need to understand, debate and reflect on the political issues of the day.

Supported by a personal tutor, you’ll explore topics such as voting behaviour, parliament, elections and the UK and US constitutions. This course also explores key political ideologies including conservatism, liberalism, socialism and nationalism and how they’ve influenced our society.

Our Politics AS level course is ideal if you:

  • Are keen to study politics at degree level.
  • Would like to be a well-informed, active citizen.
  • Want to understand more about the UK and US political systems.  
  • Enjoy discussing and debating current-affairs.
  • Would like to build your skills in critical thinking, research and analysis to enhance your employability.

Future opportunities

  • Studying a politics course at university.
  • A range of rewarding careers in fields such as the civil service, social research, policy, HR, charity, journalism and marketing.

Course content

Section 1: Democracy and political parties

  • Introduction to politics
  • Representative and direct democracy
  • Widening the franchise
  • Pressure groups and other influences
  • Rights in context
  • The main political parties
  • The smaller parties

Section 2: Elections and voting behaviour

  • Electoral systems
  • Referendums and electoral outcomes
  • Voting behaviour and the media
  • General elections: three case studies

Section 3: The Constitution and Parliament

  • Introduction and progress checker
  • The UK constitution
  • Devolution and further reform
  • Parliament
  • Parliamentary business

Section 4: The Executive and relations between institutions

  • The executive
  • The prime minister and Cabinet
  • The Supreme Court
  • Relations between institutions

Study AS level Politics with us and benefit from:

  • Flexible learning
  • Support from a personal tutor by email, phone or Skype
  • Any time enrolment
  • Our exam booking service
  • Assignments with tutor feedback
  • Ongoing support from Student Support
  • Forums to discuss your course with other students


Choose when and where you access your course, using learn@nec our 24/7 learning platform.

This easy-to-use learning platform includes interactive checkpoints, quizzes and activities to help you evaluate your progress.

Your tutor

You’ll have access to support from a personal tutor. All NEC tutors are subject experts, with experience of supporting online learners.

Meet Mike who is just one of our first-class politics tutors:

“I have taught in a range of higher educational establishments on a part time basis, and am experienced in teaching at a range of levels from access courses through to masters degrees. I am a longstanding examiner with AQA and CIE, on AS and A level sociology courses. Having been involved in online education from an early stage, I am committed to the delivery of online distance learning, and the importance of supporting learners as they progress through the course materials. I have a BA (Hons) in Social Administration from Lancaster, and a MA gained with distinction and a PhD from Liverpool University.”

What you need to know

Exam board

  • Edexcel 9PL0


  • Online learning with support from a personal tutor


  • Complete at your own pace
  • Approx. 120-150* hours plus time for completing assignments

*The specification suggests that 150 hours is needed. You’ll also need time to complete assignments and prepare yourself for exams and some courses like English literature involve a lot of reading.  Everyone is different so it’s impossible to say with certainty how long a course will take you, but you should expect to spend longer than 150 hours. Taken across the length of time we recommend, this equates to approximately 4 hours per week. This will increase if you choose to take it over a shorter time frame or may be less if you are retaking a subject and have covered a lot of of the course content.


  • 5 assignments (one introductory) – these do not contribute towards your final grade


  • Set textbooks – included as a free ebook with your course: Edexcel UK Government and Politics for AS/A level (Fifth Edition),  N McNaughton, Hodder Education, 2017


  • Internet access 
  • Computer operating system and browser to support learn@nec 

What's included?

Our course fees are open and honest to help you plan for any additional costs.

Your course fee includes:

  • Access to learn@nec
  • All the course materials you need to complete the course
  • Support from a personal tutor for up to 24 months from your date of enrolment
  • Assignment marking
  • Marking for one past paper
  • Guaranteed exam place
  • free e-book version of the essential textbooks
  • NEC’s guide to study skills: How to Succeed as an Independent Learner
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar guide
  • Time planner to help you plan your study timetable
  • Information on how to apply for exams
  • Academic references if needed

Your course fee does not cover:

  • Exam entry fees

Optional extras:

  • Additional past paper marking
  • Revision tutorial
  • Optional tutorial
  • Additional review

Exams and assessment

Two exams:

  • 1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of marks
  • 1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of marks

Non-exam assessment (NEA):

  • None

Additional support if you’re under 18

We know that our younger students often need an extra helping hand with their studies.  In our experience, learning online works best when the parents are involved, so when you enrol your child with NEC, you’ll have a unique set of services to help you to support your child.

This includes:

  • Your own log in to learn@nec to access the course so you can view the course materials and other information for yourself.
  • Access to your child’s gradebook to help you to monitor progress and provide appropriate and timely intervention and support
  • You’ll receive emails and forum posts so that you have all the examination and assessment updates/information provided by the NEC team
  • Dedicated Progress Portal Pages and targeted blogs with updates/information/help and advice on many aspects of home education.

Read more about how we work with young students who are studying at home or through a school.