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History is for students who have a genuine curiosity about different periods of history including some familiar topics, and some new stories you will discover for the first time. It suits students who enjoy a good debate, and want to develop academic reading, writing and speaking skills.

If you choose this course you would benefit from:

  • Teachers who are all educated to postgraduate level and a team with extensive exam marking experience
  • Pick your own coursework topic
  • Free talks from university academics via the Historical Association as well as opportunities to enter debating and essay competitions
  • Trips and visits to museums, revision lecture days and overseas excursions

In the first year you will study:

  • Unit 2: The Crusades and Crusader States 1095-1192
    • The causes, course and consequences of the first three crusades
    • The impact of the crusades on the Levant and the Muslim response
    • The rise and fall of the Crusader Kingdom in Jerusalem
  • Unit 1: The Early Tudors and the Mid Tudor Crisis 1485-1558
    • Henry VII
    • Henry VIII and his advisers Wolsey and Cromwell including the religious reformations in England
    • Primary sources exam question: The Stability of the monarchy 1547-1558 including economic, social and religious unrest in the reigns of Edward VI and Mary I

In the second year you will study:

  • Coursework topic of your choice (20%)
  • Unit 3: Russia and its rulers 1855-1964
    • Political, economic and social change in Russia
    • The impact of War and Revolution on Russia
    • The nationalities of the Russian Empire
    • Historical interpretations on Alexander IIs reforms, The Provisional Government and Khrushchev in power


What will I be taught?

Why did Henry VIII divorce Catherine of Aragon? How was Lenin able to seize power in October 1917? Does Richard I deserve his reputation as a great military leader? History is a never ending debate. History lessons involve research, discussion, debate, teacher-led and student-led presentations to help you make your own supported arguments on some of the biggest turning points of the last 1000 years. You will have homework tasks to complete using Moodle to prepare for each lesson. Our well stocked library will help you to continue your reading independently to boost your grades and prepare you for university.

Classroom activities will include:

  • Class debate and group discussion
  • Analysing primary sources and evaluating historians’ interpretations.
  • Quizzes in different formats to help you learn the detail
  • Research tasks individually and in groups with student led presentations
  • Timed essays and skills focus lessons

Based on research into how students learn best, each subject will set independent work to allow you to recap what you have done in the past, consolidate understanding for what you are studying in the present and develop the skills and experiences which will help you for the future. You can read more about the college’s approach to independent study here

The Past
Click here for the suggested ongoing revision activities in this subject which research has shown are most likely to boost your achievement

The Present
Each subject will set weekly homework tasks to help you consolidate your understanding and prepare for your next lesson. This work is typically set through Microsoft Teams, so you will have an electronic log of all your work, notes and feedback.

The Future
A key part of your independent work in this subject will be to prepare for a range of potential jobs and higher education courses when you leave us. To get started, look below at the top higher education courses and jobs which previous students of this course have gone on to do.

Because history develops strong skills in argument, persuasion and use of evidence, many historians follow careers in Law. Teaching, civil service and politics, journalism and business are also popular career paths. Former students now study degrees including Law, History, Politics and English at universities such as Warwick, Durham, Oxford, Birmingham and Kings College London.

5 x GCSE grades 4-9 (incl. English Language)

Additional Requirements

5 in English Language
5 in any of these subjects: History, English Literature, Religious Studies, Geography

Not essential but it will help your success…

An enthusiasm for the past – particularly looking into different periods which may not have been studied before.  Good written communication skills.

Pairs well with many other A levels including English Language/Linguistics, Ancient History, Law, Philosophy and Ethics, Sociology.

Teaching contact time is 4 hours and 20 minutes per subject plus at least 4 hours of independent study. In the second year this will increase when working on coursework. Additional support workshops run through most of the year.


Coursework 20%

Three exams:

  • Early Tudors and the Mid-Tudor Crisis 1485-1558 25%
  • Crusades and Crusader States 1095-1192 15%
  • Russia and its rulers 1855-1964 40%

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