Awarding Body:EdexcelCourse Duration:1/2 Years

Minimum Entry Requirements

5 GCSE’s at Grades A*- C, including English and Maths. Is is not a requirement to have studied History at GCSE provided you have an interest in the subject.

Course Content

History is amongst the first wave of subjects to be reorganised into as a linear A level. At the same time the government has decided that students should study history across a range of 200 years so as to provide greater breadth of learning and a longer-term framework for understanding important historical developments. As a result, the content of History A levels has changed considerably. As a department we will continue to offer two courses which we feel offer students fresh and exciting alternatives to select between.

The Early course comprises:

Year One (AS course):

Breadth Study - The Crusades c1095-1204

Depth Study - Henry II and the Angevin Empire 1154-89

There has never been a better or more relevant time to study the Crusades. As well as learning about figures such as Richard the Lionheart and Saladin, this unit also offers a glimpse into medieval life, beliefs and values. You will also learn about the relations between Christians and Muslims during the era of the Crusades and the development of concepts such as jihad and the idea of a 'just war'.

In the second unit you will learn about Henry II who became Duke of Normandy aged 16, and kind of England at 21. Our study of Henry's thirty-five year reign examines how he tried to ensure justice for all his subjects, his difficulties controlling the enormous Angevin empire and the problems with his rebellious sons as well as his ruinous dispute with Thomas Becket.

Year Two:

The Wars of the Roses and the establishment of the Tudors

Coursework option

In the second year, the exam unit focused on the dramatic century of crisis, upheaval and rebelion that led to the defeat of Richard III in 1485 and brought Henry VII and the Tudor dynasty to the throne. You will learn about the personalities and characters that were key to the Wars of the Roses and consider the wider lessons about how kings controlled (or failed to control) their realms in early modern England.

The coursework unit is an opportunity for students to engage in real historical debate. You will be required to take three contrasting opinions on a particular historical issue and weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments using your own research and evidence. There will be some choice for students in this topic, with the main option focusing on an aspect of the Tudor era.

Both our Early and Modern History courses will result in an A level History qualification. They will be taught and examined in the same way and you should make your choice on the basis of which period you think will interest you the most. Although we anticipate the majority of students choosing to follow either the early or modern route it may be possible for students to switch at the end of the first year.

Methods of Teaching

  • Class discussion and debate
  • Group work
  • Student research and presentations.
  • Evaluation of contemporary sources
  • Analysing and comparing different historical interpretations
  • Video programmes / YouTube
  • History intranet / Interactive Whiteboards

Methods and Patterns of Assessment

A Level

  • Unit 1: written examination 2 hours and 15 minutes (30% of total A Level mark)
  • Unit 2: written examination 1 hour 30 minutes (20% of total A Level mark)
  • Unit 3: written examination 2 hours and 15 minutes (30% of total A Level mark)
  • Unit 4: AL coursework assignment of 4000 works (20% of total A Level mark).

AS Level

  • Unit 1: 60% AS written examination 2 hours and 15 minutes
  • Unit 2: 40 AS written examination 1 hour 30 minutes

Financial Implications

Educational visits and trips will be offered to all students, where these are relevant to the curriculum. For example the department currently runs two overseas trips to Spain and Berlin. One day visits have included the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the National Portrait Gallery and Chalke Valley History Festival.

Students will be required to purchase the set texts for each paper studied but the department will supply other books and resources. The College has a Student Support Fund for those students who have difficulty meeting these costs.

Career Progression

History is useful for any career which involves researching and analysing information and expressing arguments based upon evidence. Good examples of this are careers in the Civil Service, banking and accountancy, politics, social and business administration, teaching, journalism, law, public relations and personnel management.

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