GCSE Politics

Overview of GCSE Politics

GCSE Politics is comprised of two externally assessed units:

  • Unit 1: Democracy in Action (50%)
  • Unit 2: International Politics in Action (50%)
  • Unit 1 is taught and examined in Year 11. Unit 2 is taught and examined in Year 12.

Why study GCSE Politics?

What are the benefits of studying GCSE Politics?

Form your own opinions

St. Patrick's Grammar School is one of the first schools in NI to offer GCSE Politics. Students follow the CCEA specification. This new specification aims to encourage students to develop a lifelong interest in politics. It will help pupils form their own beliefs about political issues and events.

Become politically literate

Students will consider important political concepts such as power, authority, accountability, who has power and how it is exercised. They will enhance their political vocabulary and improve their oral and written communication.

Understand the news and current affairs

Politics is an excellent course for those who like to keep up-to date with news and current affairs. Knowing what is happening around you makes you think more critically and helps students to develop their own thoughts and opinions.

Achieve career goals

Acquire essential knowledge

Studying Government and Politics will help students to develop knowledge of how political systems operate. They will be able to relate this knowledge to events reported in the media. By studying this subject, pupils will gain a greater understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizens and how political decisions affect each one of us. Politics complements many other GCSEs, especially the GCSE History course. It will also prepare students for the study of Politics at A Level.

Develop new skills

Politics student learn how to present a balanced argument and how to participate meaningfully in debates. GCSE Politics helps to develop a range of other skills such as decision-making and problem-solving.

Year 11 GCSE Politics: Democracy in Action Topics:

Topic 1

Political ideas -democracy v. dictatorship


Topic 2

Decision-making in a democracy


Topic 3

Elections and Voting in a democracy


Topic 4

Political parties in a democracy


Topic 5

Political information in a democracy


Topic 6

Taking action in a democracy



Exam practice



Worth 50% of GCSE Politics

Summer of Year 11

Democracy in Action Specification:

Year 12 GCSE Politics: International Politics in Action Topics:

Topic 1



Topic 2

European Union


Topic 3

United Nations -Conflict and its Resolution


Topic 4

NATO -Conflict and its Resolution


Topic 5

Northern Ireland -Conflict and its Resolution


Topic 6




Exam practice



Worth 50% of the GCSE

Summer of Year 12

International Politics in Action Specification:

GCSE Assessment

GCSE Politics is comprised of two externally assessed examinations (50% each). One examination will take place at the end of Year 11 and the other at the end of Year 12.

Both external written examinations have one tier of entry and last for 1 hour 30 minutes .

Unit 1 and 2 comprise of three sections:

Section A includes questions that require short answers, recall and definitions. Section B includes questions on source material. Section C includes extended, evaluative style questions.


  • Unit 1: Politics in Action (end of Year 11)
  • Unit 2: International Politics in Action (end of Year 12)

Useful Links:

Politics and Current Affairs