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History (A Level)

Are you fascinated by the past and the influence it has on our lives today? The study of history is said to have a civilising influence on our society as we learn from the mistakes of the past. Studying history will show you how our current political, social and ethical ideals were shaped and developed.


Future Opportunities

This qualification could prepare you for further study in this area or would complement other humanities-based courses. It also provides you with many skills you will need for further study, such as discussion, research skills and essay writing.

History is useful to those wanting to study a range of courses at university. This could include courses such as history, archaeology, law or medicine.

What are the entry requirements?

Five or more GCSEs Grade 9-4 or equivalent, including English. Grade 5 in History if studied.

What will I study?

There are three components to the A Level History course.

Component 1: Breadth Study: Stuart Britain and the Crisis of Monarchy, 1603–1702

This option allows students to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the following key questions:

  • How far did the monarchy change?
  • To what extent and why was power more widely shared during this period?
  • Why and with what results were there disputes over religion?
  • How effective was opposition?
  • How important were ideas and ideology?
  • How important was the role of key individuals and groups, and how were they affected by developments?

Component 2: Depth Study: The American Dream: reality and illusion, 1945–1980

This option provides for a study in depth of the challenges faced by the USA at home and abroad as it emerged from the Second World War as a Superpower. For many Americans, post-war prosperity realised the 'American Dream' but the prosperity was not shared by all and significant problems at home and abroad challenged the extent to which the 'American Dream' was a reality. It explores concepts and ideas such as American identity at home and abroad, anti-communism, social equality, ethnic identities and federal versus states' rights.

Component 3: Non-British Historical Investigation (Changing China 1875-1985)

The purpose of the Historical Investigation is to enable students to develop the skills, knowledge and historical understanding acquired through the study of the examined components of the specification. Through undertaking the Historical Investigation students will develop an enhanced understanding of the nature and purpose of history as a discipline and how historians work by using primary sources and interpretations on Chinese history focusing on the end of the Qing Dynasty up until the leadership of Deng Xiaoping , and communicate on aspects of continuity and contrast as well as analysing and assessing the evidence researched first-hand.

How will I be assessed?

You will sit two external exams, and undertake a non-exam assessment:

Component 1: Breadth Study, written exam
40% of A Level

Component 2: Depth Study, written exam
40% of A Level

Component 3: A personal study based on Modern China, 4500 words
20% of A Level.


What is the average class size?

On average we have 15 students in an A Level class.

Are the teachers specialists in the subject area?

Yes, we have all studied our specialisms to degree level as well as spending much of our free time investing in our personal areas of interest such as further reading, visits and living abroad. 

How successful have previous students been in this subject?

We have had huge success with 100% pass rate over the last 3 years and well as much higher than national average for the coursework module.

What other subjects compliment this course?

Politics (to add some key concepts and the bigger picture), English Literature (interpretation and historiography), Spanish (contributes to source analysis)

Will studying this subject allow me to go to university?

Definitely, it is a high level academic subject which carries weight with Russell Group Universities. It also has many transferable skills which can be used in many career paths. 

What careers can the subject lead to?

Law,  journalism, medicine, teaching, research, business and politics