History

The History A-level course has three distinct pathways that aim to provide you with a strong understanding of key themes which have influenced the course of history from the 11th to the 20th centuries. You can choose the “Conquest, Control and Resistance” pathway, which focuses on three turbulent periods in England’s history: the Crusades, the Norman Conquest and Rebellion under the Tudors. Alternatively you can choose “Revolution and Reform” which looks at the important events of the English Civil Wars; the Russian Revolutions and the growth of Protest and Democracy in Britain. The third pathway is “Dictatorship and Democracy” which examines the turbulent years of the 19th and 20th centuries. This final pathway focuses upon the impact of Fascism in both Germany and Italy during the early 20th Century, and then returns to the theme of growing democracy in Germany after the fall of Nazism, and also during the 19th and 20th Century periods in Britain.

Awarding Body

Available As

A Level

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What will I study?

The courses offer the opportunity to study a wide range of historical periods and specifically the dynamics that drive each of these.  Please see the specific course content for further information.

Options

As part of your A-level History course you are required to study both British and non-British History topics which cover a minimum of 200 years. Over the two year A-level course you will have the opportunity to study one of the following three pathways:

A-level (two year course)

1. 'Conquest and control'

2. 'Revolution and reform'

3. 'Dictatorship and democracy'

Conquest and control

(Paper 1) The Crusades, c1095-1204

  • Focuses on England's first four campaigns in the Middle East

(Paper 2) Anglo-Saxon England and the Norman Kingdom, c1053-1106

  • Study the origins of the Norman conquest of England

(Paper 3) Rebellion and disorder under the Tudors, 1485-1603

  • Focuses on one of England's most influential dynasties

Revolution and reform

(Paper 1) Britain, 1625-1701: conflict, revolution and settlement

  • Studies the origins of the English Civil War and the eventual restoration of monarch after Britain's brief experiement with republicanism

(Paper 2) Russia in revolution, 1894-1924

  • Studies the collapse of Tsarism and the birth of Communist Russia

(Paper 3) Protest, agitation and parliamentary reform, c1780-1928

  • Investigates the growth of British democracy in the face of revolution on the continent

Dictatorship and democracy

(Paper 1) Germany and West Germany, 1918-89

  • Study the evolution of Germany from its early experiement with democracy; the Nazi years and its rebirth as one of Europe's most influential powers

(Paper 2) The rise and fall of fascism in Italy, c1911-46

  • Investigate one of Europe's first Fascist states - an experiement that encouraged Nazism and left a prominent mark on European society

(Paper 3) Protest, agitation and parliamentary reform, c1780-1928

  • Investigates the growth of British democracy in the face of revolution on the continent

 

Coursework requirements

Students will also have the opportunity to write coursework on:

The Crusades if undertaking the 'Conquest and control' pathway, or:

Civil Rights in the USA if studying 'Revolution and reform' or 'Dictatorship and Democracy'

How will I learn?

The course will use a variety of different teaching methods ranging from lectures and discussions, through to student presentations and individual research. The lectuers aim to bridge the gap between school and university so there is an emphasis on encouraging students to think for themselves. There is a high expectation on students to participate in all sessions. 

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is through three examinations at the end of the course as well as a coursework module in the second year.

Assessment is through three examinations at the end of the course as well as a coursework module in the second year:

Paper 1: 2 hours 15 mins during which time you will answer two essay questions and one historical interpretations question.

Paper 2: 1 hour 30 mins during which time you will answer one essay question and one primary source analysis question.

Paper 3: 2 hours 15 mins during which time you will answer two essay questions and a primary source analysis question.

The coursework assesses historical interpretations and between 3, 000 and 4, 000 words.

Are there any trips on this course?

With our new programme there is the potential opportunity to travel to Italy or Germany together with visits to the British Museum and student conferences with the University of the West of England.

Are there any extra costs?

Each course has a course booklet that includes exam advice and additional reading. These cost £1 each.

Are there any specific entry requirements?

If students have taken GCSE History, they have to have achieved a Grade 4 or above to take A-level History.

What enrichment activities are offered?

With our new specification we are hoping to develop a rich programme of opportunities but currently we have had visiting professors lecturing on America's role in the Vietnam War, and the significance of the poppy to Remembrance. We have also joined with Classical Civilisations on trips to the British Museum as well as student conferences with the University of the West of England.

What work experience opportunities are there?

In conjunction with the college's Pre-Teaching course we have had students undertaking work placements in History departments within local schools.  This has proven to be invaluable for those wishing to enter the teaching profession.

Careers Information

FAQs

Is there a coursework unit?

Yes.  You will start the coursework at the end of the first year and hand it in during the first term of the second year.

Do I have to have taken GCSE History?

No, if you have taken GCSE History or Humanities a minimum of a grade 4 is required.

How many exams are there?

There are three written exams in addition to coursework.