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Course outline

Studying history at A Level will allow you to develop your interest in and enthusiasm for history and an understanding of its intrinsic value and significance. 

Students will build on their understanding of the past through a broad and balanced course of study, acquiring an understanding of different identities within society and an appreciation of aspects such as social, cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity.

You’ll study various periods and aspects of history, developing your historical and research skills in order to ask relevant and significant questions about the past, and make links and draw comparisons across different periods.

Course content

Year 12 – Paper 1 – Britain, 1625-1701: conflict, revolution and settlement. This paper will cover the reign of Charles I and his relationship with Parliament. It will look at the English Civil War, the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell and the Restoration of the Monarchy. It will look at the quest for political stability, religious divisions, social and intellectual changes and the beginnings of a modern economy, trade and empire

Paper 2 – Russia in revolution, 1894-1924. This paper will cover the nature of autocratic rule in Russia, the key events of the revolution, the end of the Romanov dynasty, the Bolshevik takeover in 1917 and how they secured their grip on power.
Year 13 – Paper 3 – Civil Rights and Race Relations in the USA, 1850-2009. This paper will look at the issue of slavery in the USA and how emancipation was achieved as a result of the US Civil War. It will then look at the establishment of segregation in the South as a result of ‘Jim Crow’ laws and the campaign for Civil Rights involving key figures such as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. It will finish by looking at contemporary race relations up to and including the election of President Obama.

A coursework unit is also taught and completed in Year 13 on the USA topic.

Entry requirements

GCSE history grade 5 and English grade 5. A passion for the subject and ability to develop reasoned arguments and commitment to developing analytical skills and to write with fluency. 

Career / higher education opportunities

A Level history is an excellent stepping stone for degrees and careers in archaeology, English, history, law, politics, classics, teaching, economics, and business and marketing. Analytical skills, research skills and problem-solving are skills that will also support future careers. 

Course specification

Edexcel A Level

Student view

“History ties in with politics and English literature so well. I’m always using each subject to further my knowledge in another.” Courtney Pottinger, Year 13