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History prepares pupils for the future, equipping them with knowledge and skills that are prized in adult life, enhancing employability and developing an ability to take part in a democratic society. It encourages mutual understanding of the historic origins of our ethnic and cultural diversity, and helps pupils become confident and questioning individuals.

In A-Level History, students are encouraged to investigate and analyse the topics through a range of sources and develop their awareness of different viewpoints. By considering different interpretations, students develop an understanding of the nature of the discipline of History, and the ways in which History is produced. Students will consider why historians produce different interpretations of the same events and of the different approach historians adopt to their work. Students are constantly encouraged to ask the question, ‘What is History?’ and to develop their own responses to this question. Through the study of different events in different countries at the same time, they are able to develop an understanding of the impact individuals and ideas have on society.

Course content

Linear A-Level (assessed at the end of Upper Sixth)

Edexcel Route F: Searching for rights and freedoms in the twentieth century.

  • Unit 1: In search of the American Dream: the USA, c1917-96
  • Unit 2: South Africa, 1948 – 94: from apartheid state to ‘rainbow nation.’
  • Unit 3: Protest, agitation and parliamentary reform in Britain, c1780 – 1928
  • Unit 4: This is the coursework unit, worth 20% of the total A-Level. Our students have a free choice of topic, but we run a course on 20th Century Civil Rights in the USA and usually they select a topic from within the course.


Paper One – Breadth study with interpretations – 2 hrs and 15 mins. Focus on causation, consequence and evaluation of historical interpretations.

Paper Two – Depth study – 1 hr and 30 mins. Focus on the analysis and evaluation of  contemporary source material and causation, consequence and change.

Paper Three – Themes in breadth with aspects of depth. 2 hrs and 15 mins. Focus on the analysis and evaluation of contemporary source material and causation, consequence and change together with essays based on the process of change.

Coursework – Independently-researched enquiry analysing and evaluating historical interpretations. The focus will be on a question or problem that has generated disagreement amongst historians.

Career Opportunities

The skills developed when studying for an A-Level in History are relevant and transferable to any future study. Techniques of research, analysis, interpretation and debate will be applicable in any future employment or education and you will develop these to a very high level. History as a subject is highly regarded and Higher Education establishments value the study of History. Many of our students have continued on to study History at top UK universities and pursued historical research through to doctorate level.

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