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Course Overview

The A Level History course is designed to foster critical and reflective thinking, whilst enabling you to develop a deep knowledge and understanding of a broad range of historical topics, concepts and issues. You will enhance your historical awareness, and consequently your ability to explain and contextualise contemporary issues in relation to historical events. The qualification also provides a strong foundation for the future study of history or other related courses at degree level, and is highly regarded by universities and employers alike. Our aim is to create independent learners, critical thinkers and skilled decision-makers — meaning you will be effectively equipped with many desirable skills as you progress either to higher education or the workplace.

Assessment & Examination

You will sit three examinations at the end of the course, each with different weightings. You will also complete a topic based essay.

Unit 1: British period study and enquiry (England 1485-1558: Early Tudors) - This paper is 1 hour 30 minutes and is worth 25% of the total A Level. You will answer a source based question, and then one essay from a choice of two questions.

Unit 2: Non British period study (The French Revolution and the rule of Napoleon 1774-1815) - This paper is 1 hour and is worth 15% of the total A Level.

Unit 3: Thematic study and historical interpretations (Civil Rights in the USA 1865-1992) - This paper is 2 hours and 30 minutes and is worth 40% of the total A Level. You will answer a question on interpretations, and then two essay questions which cover the whole period studied.

Unit 4: Topic based essay: This is an internally assessed essay and is worth 20% of the total A Level. You will complete a 3000-4000 word essay on a topic of your choice from content studied in the Tudors or the French Revolution components.


You do not require anything other than basic stationery, although there are a number of academic text books which are recommended reading, and we would encourage you to purchase copies to support you with the course.

Prior Knowledge

You will be expected to build upon the skills and understanding that you have developed through the study of History at GCSE level. It is also important that you have a keen interest in history and a good level of competence in English, due to the necessity to produce extended written responses.

Beyond The Course

The study of history develops a multitude of skills that are valued in many different careers. Students of history often go on to study the subject at degree level, and pursue careers in areas such as law, medicine, business, accountancy, politics, journalism, media, teaching and research, to name but a few!

Entry Requirements

GCSE Level 6 in History.

Entry to Sixth Form also requires:

  • GCSE Level 5 in English Language or English Literature;
  • GCSE Level 5 in Maths;
  • Four other GCSEs at Level 5, in addition to English and Maths.

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Mr N J Whittle