History A Level

Students opting for History in the Sixth Form will study a range of topics, gaining an appreciation for and understanding of pivotal periods in both British and international history. It is expected that those interested in the study of History will have a genuine curiosity in the past and will not be limited to specific periods or personalities. It is anticipated that the study of this particular History A Level will broaden students’ historical horizons, focusing as it does on periods of significant and profound changes, the impact of which is still felt today.

The AS consists of two topics:

  • British Period Study & Enquiry: England 1547-1603: the Later Tudors (focusing on Elizabethan England)
  • Non-British Period Study: The American Revolution 1740-1796 (focusing on American independence)

These two modules will be examined at the end of the Lower Sixth; both exams will be 1 hour 30 minutes and will comprise essay questions and document analysis.

The A2 consists of a further two topics:

  • Thematic Study and Historical Interpretations: Russia and its Rulers 1855-1964 (focusing on change and continuity between the Tsarist and Communist regimes)
  • Non-exam assessment: Coursework (a 3,000-4,000 word essay on a topic of the student’s choice)

The Russia module will be examined at the end of the Upper Sixth; the exam is 2 hours 30 minutes in length and will include two essay questions and document analysis. The coursework essay is a personal and independent study and is excellent preparation for university, allowing students to investigate a topic of personal interest in depth.

EXAMINATION BOARD: OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA examinations)

History is a well respected academic discipline and its importance cannot be over-stated. Not only is it fascinating to study in its own right, History also fosters important skills which are valued by both employers and leading universities. The ability to scrutinize diverse information and formulate cogent arguments are essential qualities for History students; such skills are important for careers in the law, journalism and a variety of other fields. Many eminent figures in public life – including the current prime minister – are History graduates.


Should GCSE History have been taken then a B grade is probably necessary, but it is not necessary to have taken History before.