Numbers of students taking politics A-level up 10% on last year

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Rising numbers of students are opting to take politics A-level amid major political and social change across the world, national figures show.

In total, there were 19,729 entries for political studies A-level, up 9.8% on 2018, the biggest percentage increase in uptake of any subject this year, according to the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ).

It follows five years of steady increase in the number of qualifications awarded in the subject, up from 13,761 in 2014.

A-level entries in political studies graphic
(PA Graphics)

In 2016, there were 15,540 entries to the subject, but this had risen to 17,964 taking the exam by 2018.

But the proportion of students achieving top grades has fallen slightly, with 26% achieving a political studies A* in 2019, compared to 27.6% last year.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: “It’s great to see more young people taking an interest in politics, taking an interest in change.

“It might be because of Brexit, it might be in spite of Brexit; that generation feels like they’re global citizens, they want to stay connected with the world.

“All of this sends an incredibly powerful message about the next generation seeing themselves as connected with the rest of the world and educating themselves accordingly.”

Other social sciences and humanities have also seen a large increase in the number of entries this year.

The number of psychology qualifications awarded climbed by 8.2% to 64,598, while history had 51,438 entries, up 5.1%.

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