Belfast Royal Academy - founded 1785


Government & Politics


We follow the CCEA Government and Politics course:

AS 1 – The Government & Politics of Northern Ireland

This unit is about:

  • The Northern Ireland Assembly
  • The Northern Ireland Executive
  • Northern Irish political parties

The focus of this unit is on how Northern Ireland is governed through the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive. It looks at the policies and strategies of the main Northern Ireland political parties and the differences between them. This includes looking at how and why support for the parties has changed in recent years.

AS 2 – The British Political Process

This unit is about the operation of the British Parliament and the Executive. The key themes are:

  • the extent to which the government dominates parliament
  • the extent to which the Prime Minister dominates the cabinet
  • the political impact of pressure groups

You will study these three parts of the British political system, but you also how they are connected and affect one another.

A2 1 – Comparative Government: USA and UK

In this unit, you will study:

  • The US President of the USA
  • The US Congress
  • A comparison of the government of the USA and UK

Looking at how things are done in the USA can help us to better understand the UK system. It can also help to reveal its strengths and weaknesses. The main aims of the unit are to identify the similarities and differences between the two political systems and to discuss which works more effectively.

By the end of the unit, you should be able to address the key issues:

  • How dominant is the executive over the legislature in the UK and USA?
  • Is the UK Prime Minister and cabinet more effective than the US presidency?
  • Does the Prime Minister have more control over the government of the UK than the President has over the government of the United States?

A2 2 – Political Ideas

This unit looks at three political ideas:

  • Liberalism
  • Conservatism
  • Socialism

The three ideologies covered by this unit are not necessarily aligned with particular political parties. However, the ideas contained in these ideologies have influenced parties and governments over the years. Each of the ideologies is studied by looking at a key text that puts forward the ideas that are central to the ideology.

At the end of this unit you should not only understand these writers’ ideas but be able to
appreciate how they might explain and view the world today. In studying this unit you will draw upon the knowledge and understanding of politics you have gained from the study of the two AS Units, and the other A2 Unit on Comparative Politics.