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History A Level

Why study History A Level?

Through studying History you will get closer to understanding the world we live in and develop a deeper knowledge of the politics and society of Britain, Europe and the wider world. You will develop an unparalleled insight into the patterns of politics, diplomacy, economics and human behaviour which will enrich your life and enable you to engage in the great conversations of mankind. It will enable you to understand and comment on the world in which you are now part of.

What will I learn?

Year 12:
  • British History 1783-1846
    • How Britain was transformed from a country that had just lost America, to the world’s most powerful empire.
    • Britain’s response to the greatest European battle of ideas, the French Revolution and Britain’s role during the Napoleonic Wars.
    • How the great industrial changes made Britain the workshop of the world and helped shape one of the earliest representative governments in human history.
  • European History 1919-1963
    • Germany’s experiment with democracy and the rise of fascism.
    • Nazi rule and the effect of the Second World War.
    • The post-war period and the rebuilding of Germany and Europe. You will also engage with collective identity and history and learn about the importance of memory in shaping and forging a nation.
Year 13:
  • Thematic Study: Russia and its rulers – 1865-1964
    • We will be studying the most important period of history in one of the world’s most influential countries, looking at the autocratic Tsars of Russia, through to the Russian Revolution.
    • The impact of communism and the rule of Stalin and his successors.
    • The Crimean War, the Russo-Japanese War, First World War, Second World War and Cold War.
  • Topic-based essay
    • Learn how to research as a historian and write your own topic-based essay based on a selection of topics.

How will I be assessed?

Three two-hour papers and coursework.

What other subjects go with History?

Pupils often combine History with Politics and/or Philosophy and Theology or other arts subjects.

Where could it lead me?

You will also develop essential transferable skills which are vital for careers in the law, academia, the heritage sector, politics, public affairs, business, teaching, diplomacy and the British Government and Civil Service. History is widely accepted as one of the most traditional and rigorous academic subjects and is highly valued by the top universities in the world.


“History is to the nation as memory is to the individual.”

Arthur Schlesinger