A-Level History is a challenging and fascinating course; a journey over 3 continents and through 1000 years – from Medieval to 20th century history. Students will study four modules in total, including an independent investigation of their own choice. This course gives the opportunity to form their own opinions on complex ideas and debates that have made the world we know today. We build on the skills set of GCSE to help students with the transition to a much more independent way of learning. If students are prepared to work hard, the world is their oyster!

Entry requirements

GCSE History at grade B or above and GCSE English Language at grade 5 or above.

Course Content

The course is broken down into four modules, with two modules studied in each year.

Year 12

Y105: Lancastrians, Yorkists and Henry VII, 1450-1509 and Y215: Italy and Unification 1789-1896.
Our British unit is rooted in the causes of the War of the Roses from the weak monarchy and over-mighty nobility to tyrannical leaders. Complex political machination, love affairs and betrayal make this a medieval feast not to be missed! The second topic covers the riveting story of a nation’s desire to unite under one banner – the period known as the Risorgimento.

Year 13

Y318: Russia and its Rulers 1855-1964 and Y100: Historical Investigations.
In the first unit students examine the reasons for, and consequences of, change and continuity in Tsarist and Communist Russia. Students also deal with three controversies within the period. They also have the chance to study a period of History of their own choice researching, planning and writing an essay on their chosen topic. This is a great preparation for study at university.

Future Opportunities
Universities and employers value History A-Level. History students are trained to learn independently, express their views persuasively, weigh up evidence, carry out research and produce clearly written reports. These skills can be harnessed for a range of careers including journalism, law, management and politics. History also helps to make better informed citizens.

Enrichment Opportunities
We normally look to attend academic conferences relevant to the course materials and are in the process of forging strong links with Reading University to further expand our provision of excellence within the subject. The department also offers a range of academic articles and extended reading materials to all those brave enough to enter our very own ‘restricted section of the library’ (it’s a Harry Potter thing…).