History A Level

Course Content

The past is a fascinating world which holds the key to understanding the present. This course covers international aspects of History as well as early modern British History, and requires students to be historians rather than ‘history students’. As such they must be highly analytical, critical consumers of evidence, prepared to ask questions, argue and debate to arrive at their own judgements. Unsurprisingly, history graduates are well-equipped for jobs in politics, law and the media and, beyond this, ready and educated to be well informed members of society.

The course consists of 3 components:
Component 1: Breadth Study: The Tudors 1485-1603
The Breadth Study requires the study of an extended period and enables students to develop secure understanding of the process of change over time. Students will consider key social, economic, political and religious changes in England from Henry VII to Elizabeth I, to assess the extent of continuity and change in this dramatic period of England’s history. Students will study the development and modernisation of the monarchy, English foreign policy and the course of religious changes during the English reformation. Underpinning this is the study of the role of key individuals and groups and how they were affected by these developments.

Component 2: Depth Study: France in Revolution 1774-1815
This option provides for the study in-depth of a key period of history which was to change the relationship between the ruler and the governed, not only in France but throughout Europe and, in time, the wider world. A study of France in Revolution embraces concepts such as absolutism, enlightenment, constitutionalism, democracy, republic and dictatorship. It also encourages consideration of issues such as the relationship between rulers and the ruled, the place of the Church in the State, the power of the people and promotes reflection on what makes and perpetuates revolution. Topics of study will include the causes of the French Revolution, including a study of key political figures including Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette and Robespierre. Students will track the early developments of the Revolution, focusing on internal and external threats leading to the reign of the Terror. In their second year students will consider the reasons for the emergence of Napoleon as leader of France and analyse and evaluate his key achievements within France and Europe.

Component 3: Historical Investigation
Students will be required to submit a 4,500 word Historical Investigation based on a development or issue which has been subject to different historical interpretations. Students may study a specific issue in depth over a short period of time, or a broader theme and/or development over a longer period. Through undertaking the Historical Investigation, students will develop an enhanced understanding of the nature and purpose of history as a discipline and how historians work. They will broaden their study of the past whilst having the opportunity to study a specific issue in great depth.


Component 1: 2½ hour exam (40% of A-Level)
Component 2: 2½ hour exam (40% of A-Level)
Component 3: 3500 word coursework essay (20% of A-Level)


Entry requirement for History A level is a Grade 6 at GCSE History. If students have not taken History at GCSE a Grade 6 in English Literature and Language is required (or only English Language if Literature not studied at GCSE). The course demands good essay writing skills and a willingness to contribute to discussion. You will be set independent learning tasks every week and will also be expected to carry out a large amount of self-study.

Examination Board: AQA    Course Number: 7042