A-Level History

Subject Content

1C: The Tudors: England, 1485–1603 (Breadth Study: 40%)

From Henry VII’s victory at the Battle of Bosworth to Elizabeth’s rousing speech to her troops who fought off the Spanish Armada, you will be learning about the ins and outs of the Tudor court. You will learn how Henry VII, a usurper with no real claim to the throne, founded the most famous English dynasty. You will understand exactly why Henry VIII needed six wives and how he tore the English Church apart to gain a male heir. You will understand why Edward VI and Mary I’s reigns brought about a ‘mid-Tudor crisis’ filled with religious turmoil and economic strife. And finally, you will learn why Elizabeth’s reign has been heralded as a Golden Age.

2Q: The American Dream: reality and illusion, 1945–1980 (Depth Study: 40%)

What is the American Dream and did it become a reality in the late 20th Century? You will learn about post-war America and how President Truman sought to build the economy, whilst staving off another deadly conflict with superpower rival, the USSR. You will then learn about Eisenhower’s presidency as the Cold War worsens and proxy-wars begin in Asia. Then you will learn of the hope and excitement that JF Kennedy brought to the American people, and the momentum of the Civil Rights movement in the 60s, followed by the devastation that came from both MLK and JFK’s assassinations. This is followed by a study of America during the late 60s and 70s – Vietnam, the Peace Protest Movement, Black Power and Watergate. The course finishes by reflecting on whether, by the end of Nixon’s presidency, America had truly achieved equality, justice and freedom for her people. 

Unit 3: Historical Investigation (3000 word essay – coursework)

This will be on a topic of your choice, though it has to be one that stretches over 100 years. You will independently research and write this with guidance from your teacher.

Learning methods

A variety of learning methods are used to prepare you for further study and the demands of the work place. These include: collaborative learning, lectures, reading, seminar discussions and presentations. These methods allow you to develop the critical, communication and debate skills that the most successful historians possess. In addition, the department aims to bring the History course to life through visiting historical sites, where applicable.


A-level History is examined through 2 examination papers of 2 hour and 30 minutes containing either source or interpretation style questions, as well as traditional essays. In addition, students will complete a personal study of approximately 3500 words.


Sixth Form entry requirements  - grade 5 in History or Grade 6 in English if you haven’t studied history at GCSE.

Where can it lead?

History is held in very high esteem by both employees and universities for being a rigorous subject which requires its students to think and argue. That is why History students can be found in careers as diverse as law, journalism and accountancy. The Russell Group of leading universities values History as a facilitating subject, usually these universities require two facilitating subjects for entry to their courses