History A Level

Board: Edexcel – Syllabus : A Level 9HI0

About the subject

Apart from being fascinating, History is useful. Employers who see that you have a qualification in History immediately know certain things about you.  They will know that you have skills which, learnt through History, can be applied to all sorts of situations.  They know that you understand how people tick, what motivates them, what they think and feel. You are also able to gather, read and analyse different kinds of information and have learned to express yourself in a variety of ways.  Our history course aims to deepen your knowledge and understanding of topics you may have studied in the past, as well as help you learn about new issues and periods. The concepts of causation, consequence, continuity and change and similarity and difference run through the entire course, and help you to analyse major threads in British, European and world history, such as radical protest and political extremism.

Learning styles

We want you to enjoy History, so we offer a variety of approaches to learning: discussion, group work, debate, note taking and independent research.  In addition, we offer students the chance to study in different settings, such as conferences, museums and residential trips.  For example, in 2020 many of our students visited cities with radical traditions such as Manchester and Birmingham to see first-hand some of the places they had studied in class, and in 2023 40 of our students visited Auschwitz, to deepen their understanding of the Holocaust. You are not required to take part in residential visits, but we would hope that everyone gets involved in one of our many enrichment activities at some stage.

Subject Combinations and Progression

History can be easily combined with a number of other subjects at A’level and in Higher Education. From History and Mathematics, to History and Music and even History and Chinese, the range of joint honours available is endless. History prepares you for both university and the workplace. As such, students choose History to contrast as well as complement their other subjects; scientists and mathematicians are as likely to opt for the subject as social scientists and linguists for example. History is a particularly good qualification for budding journalists, civil servants, accountants, lawyers and media researchers, to name but a few careers.

Subject Modules and Assessment

A-level students take the examinations at the end of the second year.

Paper 1  Russia 1917-1990: From Lenin to Yeltsin  (Written exam, 30% of A-Level qualification)

Paper 2 Mao’s China, 1949-1976 (Written exam, 20% of A-level qualification)

Paper 3  Protest, Agitation and Parliamentary Reform 1780 – 1928 (Written exam, 30% of A-Level qualification)

Paper 4  Coursework  (Written submission, 20% of A-level qualification)


Entry requirements

GCSE 4  in English Language