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A-Level History

Awarding Body

Course Code

Head of Department



9H10 Jemma Green green-j@beaconsfieldhigh.bucks.sch.uk

Why study this course?

The History department continues to be a vibrant and innovative department which offers a range of historical studies to our students. The courses we teach allows our students to engage with a wide variety of historical events, people and developments and are designed to enthuse our students, allowing them to achieve the very best results they can.

The History department has a continuing track record of success in achieving high grades, entrance into top universities and offering all of our students the best possible chance of fulfilling their potential.

History is valuable for the transferable skills it develops – and as such is highly recognised by institutions and employers; historians are found in many professions – especially law, journalism and finance.

What level of prior knowledge, attainment and skills are required?

  • Students require a level 6 in GCSE History to study this subject at A-Level
  • It would suit those who have a genuine interest in the subject and who enjoy reading, debate, discussion and research
  • It combines well with many other subjects – especially English, Modern Foreign Languages, Politics and Economics, but many students have successfully combined it with sciences. 

What does the course cover and how is it structured?

Due to the popularity of History in Year 12, we offer a choice of two courses to students. One focuses on Modern History, whilst the other focuses mainly on the Early Modern period. These courses enable students to study some of the formative developments in British, European and world History, and the way these affected the lives of people living through them.

Modern History                                                                        

Paper 1                    Britain Transformed: 1918 - 97

Paper 2                   The USA 1955 – 92: Conformity & Challenge

Paper 3                   Ireland & the Union: 1774 – 1923

Paper 4                   Coursework: Choice of topic                       


Early Modern History

Paper 1                   England 1509 – 1603: Authority, Nation & Religion

Paper 2                    Luther & the German Reformation 1515 - 55

Paper 3                    The Witch Craze in Britain, Europe & North America 1580 – 1750

Paper 4                   Coursework: Choice of topic

Experience tells us that as long as students enjoy History as a subject, they will enjoy studying either course.

How is the course assessed?

Paper 1 (30%)

Exam breadth study

Paper 2 (20%)

Exam depth study

Paper 3 (30%)

Exam breadth (100 years) + depth

Paper 4 (20%)

Coursework: historical enquiry


Essays + interpretations Essays + sources Essays + sources

Historical interpretations

Centre design - free choice of topic

How can families help?

  • Wider reading around the subject and any historical articles on the above topics. BBC History Magazine is good for general interest, as is History Today
  • Historical films can also be very informative – there are too many to mention but if they are on the topics outlined above they will be useful. Do feel free to ask for a list of suggestions