History - A Level only

Exam Board: AQA

Introduction to the Course

This is a course which balances depth studies with broader themes. It builds on but does not depend on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed at GCSE level. The full Advanced Level qualification is a two year course with final examinations and coursework submitted at the end.

Entry Requirements

Standard WG6 entry requirements including GCSE History and English Language at Grade 6 or above.

Course Content

Unit 1: British Period Study and Enquiry

England 1485–1603: The Tudors

This option allows students to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period. Such questions as how did the Tudors restore and develop the power of the monarchy, was the country adequately governed in the period, how far did English society and the economy change in the period, and what impacts did religious change are all dealt with in the course. There is a focus on historiographical sources to investigate theories surrounding issues such as the break with Rome, the Mid-Tudor Crisis and success of Elizabethan foreign policy.

Unit 2: Non-British Period Study The Cold War 1945-1991 (WGSB site)

An investigation into the origins of the Cold War conflict, examining how far Stalin’s Foreign policy led to the breakdown of the wartime alliance, the impact of the Nuclear Arms race on international relations, key conflicts such as the Korean and Vietnam wars and the roles of Gorbachev, Reagan and Eastern European national movements in ending the Cold War and the collapse of the Berlin Wall. This unit has focused around Historical Interpretation with the analysis of contemporary sources as the driving focus behind student’s historical understanding of events and debates.

Democracy and Nazism: Germany, 1918–1945 (WGSG site)

This option provides for the study in depth of a period of German history during which a newly developed democratic form of government gave way to a dictatorial Nazi regime. It explores political concepts such as ‘right’ and ‘left’, nationalism and liberalism as well as ideological concepts such as racialism, anti-Semitism and Social Darwinism. It also encourages reflection on how governments work and the problems of democratic states as well as consideration of what creates and sustains a dictatorship.

Unit 3: Topic Based Essay

This involves an assignment, designed, researched and written by the student and focusing on a specific issue, event, debate or character in history of their choosing.

This should mainly be based around a historical controversy that has caused fierce debate amongst historians. This unit involves the research and production of a 3000-3500 word written assignment focused around the ‘Changing role of Women in Britain between the years 1850-1950’.


Unit 1: Exam - 2 hour 30 minutes - 40%

Unit 2: Exam - 2 hour 30 minutes - 40%

Unit 3: Coursework- 3000-3500 word assignment - 20%

Future Career Progression

Many students combine History with other humanities subjects like English, Sociology and Modern Languages but Mathematics, the Sciences and Business Studies will complement logical thinking equally well.

History A Level is seen as a facilitating subject by the Russell group universities and can be seen as a platform for many University courses and diverse careers such as Law, Journalism, the Media, Social Welfare, Business Management, Travel and Tourism and the Police, as well as many others.

Download Course Expectations (PDF).