Some amazing movies to learn more about political figures, theories and events.
The Iron Lady (2011) – An aged Margaret Thatcher gets nostalgic as she empties her late husband Denis’s wardrobe. She struggles to come to terms with her husband’s passing while also recollecting her political journey.
The Deal (2003) -The relationship between Gordon Brown and Tony Blair upon the death of the leader of the Labour Party.
The Queen (2006) – Queen Elizabeth II tries to deal with a series of events following the death of Princess Diana.
The Special Relationship (2010) – The story of Tony Blair and his relationship with Bill Clinton.
In the Loop (2009) – satirical film about the invasion of Iraq.
Brexit: The Uncivil War (2018) – a drama about the biggest foreign policy decision in recent years.
The Killing Fields (1984) – drama film touching on the Human Rights abuses by Cambodian leader Pol Pot.
V for Vendetta (2005) – action/thriller dealing with the ideas of libertarianism and anarchism.
Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018) – documentary about how Trump won the 2016 election.
Some are funny, some are debate central. These TV shows are great to get a better feel for the insides and outsides of British and international politics.
Question Time (BBC) – a weekly Q&A show where members of the audience give questions to ministers, politicians, journalists and more. Great for keeping up to date with political developments as they happen.
Politics Live (BBC) – a daily talk show with politicians and journalists, again good for keeping up to date with political events.
The Politician (Netflix) – fiction about an American teenager with high hopes for a political career.
Spitting Image (Britbox/ITV) – satirical programme from the 80s and 90s. Takes a comedic view of politicians of the time including Thatcher, Kinnock and Major.
Yes Minister (BBC) – a favourite of Margaret Thatcher, this satirical programme looks at the work of the (fictional) Minister of Administrative Affairs.
The Thick of It (BBC) – satirical show about the ins and outs of a government department.
These playlists include videos that relate to each topic at A Level. They are also really interesting if you aren’t studying politics but want to learn more. Subscribe to Study Politics on YouTube to find all of our playlists.
Core Political Ideas
Non-Core Political Ideas
We also love seeing how others educate young people about politics, and these are our favourite educational channels.
The Learning Academy Website
The Learning Academy on YouTube
Essential for the A-Level course, we’d recommend you have both a textbook for learning the core content along with a revision guide for the final few months of revision.
Edexcel Revision Guide
AQA Textbook: UK Government & Politics
AQA Textbook: US Politics
AQA Textbook: Political Ideas
AQA Revision Guide: UK Politics
AQA Revision Guide: US Politics
AQA Revision Guide: Political Ideas
It is important to get a rounded opinion of current affairs, and so we recommend reading a range of newspapers regularly.
Politics Review – a magazine written for A-Level students. It includes exam technique, special articles and revision notes.
BBC News Politics – keep up to the minute with political developments as they happen.
The Daily Telegraph – Conservative-leaning
The Times – Conservative-leaning
Mail Online – Conservative-leaning
The Independent – Labour-leaning
The Guardian – Labour-leaning
Mirror Online – Labour-leaning
Simple Politics – articles written about some current political issues for politics students.
These are some insightful podcasts and radio broadcasts that are useful to the A-Level course
A History of Political Thought – Thomas Hobbes (BBC Radio)
A History of Political Thought – John Locke (BBC Radio)
A History of Political Thought – Karl Marx (BBC Radio)
A History of Political Thought – Jean Jacques Rousseau (BBC Radio)
A History of Political Thought – Niccolo Machiavelli (BBC Radio)
A History of Political Thought – Nationalism (BBC Radio)
A History of Political Thought – Liberalism (BBC Radio)
A History of Political Thought – Green Political Thought (BBC Radio)
Fiction or non-fiction, old or new, these books are great to learn more about the insides and outsides of politics.
Ninteen Eighty Four by George Orwell – a classic fiction about a man’s relation with his political party.
The Politics Book – a complete history of major political events
The Changing Constitution by Sir Jeffrey Jowell and Colm O’Cinneide – an introduction to constitutional reform
Parliament in British Politics by Phillip Norton – how parliament in the UK works
Contemporary British Politics and Government by Phil Cocker and Alistair Jones – an introdution to how British politics works
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – a feminist novel
The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau – Nationalist Key Thinker
American Politics and Society by David McKay – an international perspective on American politics.
US Foreign Policy by Michael Cox and Doug Stokes – critical assessment of American foreign policy.
Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall – discusses contemporary global politics and geopolitical issues.
The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli – traditional realist philosophy
The Clash of Civilisations by Samuel Huntington – realist philosophy
The Last Utopia by Samuel Moyn – human rights and international justice
The End of History and the Last Man by Francis Fukuyama – liberal philosophy
World Poverty and Human Rights by Thomas Pogge – Human Rights global governance
European Union Politics by Michelle Cini – an introduction to politics of the EU
Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics by John Mearsheimer – “offensive realism”
Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman – how realistic are modern political aims?
21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram Kendi
Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags by Tim Marshall
Shadowplay: Behind the Lines and Under Fire by Tim Marshall
Divided: Why We’re Living in an Age of Walls by Tim Marshall
Key Thinker Texts
These are the key texts for the key thinkers, which can be helpful to understand their ideas and theories.
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (1651)
Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)
Michael Oakeshott, On Human Conduct (1975)
Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead (1943)
Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State and Utopia (1974)
John Locke, Two Treaties of Government (1690)
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792)
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859)
John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (1971)
Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (1963)
Thomas Hill Green, Lectures on the Principles of Political Obligation (1895) [AQA Only]
Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto (1848)
Beatrice Webb, A Constitution for the Socialist Commonwealth of Great Britain (1920)
Rosa Luxemburg, Reform or Revolution (1899)
Anthony Crosland, The Future of Socialism (1956)
Anthony Giddens, The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy (1998)