History is a challenging a level subject, but if you put your mind to it you will find it very rewarding.

Jack Linley

Jack Linley

Course Description

History is a discipline that has fascinated human beings for thousands of years. It provides superb training in communication, handling of information, and thinking and reading critically – invaluable skills for employers, universities, and everyday life. Our history course is a study of the making of the modern world: modern Britain; modern Europe; and modern America. Two main Units comprise 80% of the final A Level: the British Empire, 1857-1967, and Germany 1918-45. Finally, 20% of the qualification is made up of a coursework unit on the origins of America.

Entry Requirements

Achieve 5 or more standard GCSE passes or higher (grade 4 or higher).

If a student is applying for a course in a subject that they have studied at GCSE it is expected that a student would have achieved at least a standard pass (grade 4) in this subject.

Course Content

Unit 1 – Breadth Study: the British Empire, c1857-1967
This unit looks at the making of modern Britain through the development and disintegration of its empire – the largest the world has ever seen. We explore the topic through key questions such as – what drove imperial expansion, and then decline? How much did the empire change over time, and why? Who benefitted from the empire, and who lost out? Specific focus falls on Britain’s own society and politics in relation to the empire; and the growth and fall of the empire in British India and Africa.

Unit 2 – Revolution and Dictatorship: Russia, 1917-1953
This unit examines the transformation of Russia, from revolution at the end of World War One, through the chaos of early communism and struggles for power, on to the violence of Stalin’s regime, the Soviet victory in the “Great Patriotic War” (WW2) and on to the collapse of Stalin’s dictatorship and the aftermath of his death. This involves detailed case studies of political intrigues, war, death, terror and social hardship for the Russian people in order to understand the extent of change and the significance of the new regime.

Unit 3 – Coursework – from the thirteen colonies to the Thirteenth Amendment: the USA, 1763-1865
This unit will study the making of modern America in the time period from 1763 to 1865: from British imperial wars, through the War of Independence, to the cataclysmic Civil War in the 1860s, and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. In the shadows of this bright young nation’s rise lie the dark realities of slavery, and the treatment of Native Americans. After the taught course students set a question of their own choosing, covering an issue in the context of these 100 years, and research both primary and secondary sources on the topic to create an essay of 3000-3500 words.


Unit 1
Written exam: 2 hours
40% of A Level

Unit 2
Written exam: 2 hours
40% of A Level

Unit 3
Non-examined assessment
3,000-3,500 word essay
20% of A Level

Future Opportunities

A Level History offers unique and exhilarating opportunities for both further education and employment. It is a highly respected academic qualification because of the rigorous training it gives in critical thought, research, and discursive writing; yet it is also greatly valued by employers because of the transferable skills it cultivates.

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