History A-Level (Edexcel)

Course Overview

The A level History course offers engaging and topical modules that have been designed to help you understand the value and significance of world events in the past.  Whilst studying the course you will gain a deeper understanding of social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity; understanding the past is key in helping us understand the world in which we live today.  The History qualification provides progression from GCSE.  It allows students to develop a broader and deeper understanding of history as a discipline and enables them to develop higher skills when working with evidence.

In the History course you will study three modules which will be sat in exam conditions and one coursework module.

Paper 1: In Search of the American Dream; the USA, c1917-96, worth 30% of the module, looks at the idea that the search for the American Dream was not just a search for equal rights, it was a search for a better way of life, the ups and downs of the economy and the political and social issues that came to the boil at various times and how these were all obstacles to achieving the American Dream.

Paper 2: South Africa, 1948-94: From Apartheid State to `Rainbow Nation’, worth 20% of the course, examines the period between 1948-94.  It looks at the setting up and embedding of apartheid and the rise of opposition and the journey to becoming a rainbow nation led by Mandela.

Paper 3: Poverty, Public Health and the State in Britain c1780-1939, worth 30%, examines the period in question and focuses on how poverty and pauperism affected the most vulnerable members of society and how the government tried and often failed, to address the problems faced by the poor from the spread of disease such as cholera, life in the workhouses and the effects of the Depression.

The Coursework Module, worth 20%, examines interpretations of History.  This module tests students on a range of skills from researching evidence and interpretations, weighing up evidence and consolidating it in a 3000 word essay.  The area that we currently focus on is `Interpretations of who should be held responsible for the Holocaust’. Students need to study content on this period and then carry out an independently researched enquiry which focuses on analysing and evaluating historical interpretations. It is a controversial topic and one that students enjoy researching. The coursework element is a great way to prepare students for university as it enables them to research and write their findings independently. 

History is one of the most wanted and valued subjects by universities.  In studying History you will learn valuable skills such as communication, research and essay writing skills, how to construct an argument, investigation and problem-solving skills and analytical and interpretation skills.

Choosing History at A-level is a good pathway into careers in Law, Journalism, Teaching, Art History, the Media, Politics, Archaeology, Heritage and Museums, Civil Service, Business and Marketing.

You should be on track to achieve a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grades 4 - 9, including a grade 5 in English and/or History.