01223 631100

In This Section ▾

Latest Updates:


A level

History allows you to explore different aspects of the past, and to learn about influential people, significant conflicts and exciting people. The course focuses on revolution, the collapse of monarchy, and the establishment of new regimes.

History A level is well-regarded by top universities and employers alike. 

NB There are two options for this A level: Germany and Russia. You will choose one of these when you apply online.


Course content

Unit 1

Absolutism challenged: Britain, 1603–1649,

This unit considers the causes and events of the English Civil War, culminating in the execution of Charles I in 1649. You will study James I and Charles I, the way in which they governed England, disputes between the monarchy and Parliament,  religious  and social divisions,  and the reasons for the outbreak of Civil War in 1642.

Unit 2

You will opt to study one of the  following:

Option 1: The Russian Revolution, 1917-1929 This unit considers the revolutions of 1917, the consolidation of Bolshevik rule, and Stalin’s rise to power. You will study the causes and events  of the revolutions, the establishment of a Communist dictatorship, the Russian Civil War, and the power struggle of the 1920s.


Option 2: The Weimar Republic, 1918-1933
This unit considers the German Revolution of 1918-19 and the establishment of the Weimar Republic. You will study the nature of the revolution, the economic, social, political and cultural developments of the 1920s, and the rise of the Nazi Party.


Year 2 course content

In the second year of the course, you will study  the consequences of the events covered in the first year. In addition, you will complete a piece of coursework.

Unit 1

Monarchy Restored: Britain, 1649-1702

You will consider the events following the English Civil War. You will study the establishment of a Republic under Cromwell, restoration of the monarchy under Charles II, and the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688.


Unit 2

You will continue with the option chosen in the first year:

Option 1: Stalin’s Rule,  1929-1953
This unit considers the nature and impact of Stalin’s rule, including his economic reforms, the Terror, and Russia’s emergence as a  superpower following the Second World  War.


Option 2: Nazi Germany,  1933-1945
This unit considers the Nazi dictatorship, its racial policies, and its impact on the German population.

Unit 3

You will have a Non–Examined Assessment (NEA) to complete. This is on the struggle for black Civil Rights in America 1865-1968.



You will be examined on both years’ study of  Units 1 and 2 at the end of Year 2. This is 80% of the final mark: the NEA is worth 20%.


Is it for me?

You will enjoy and benefit from History if you are interested in:

  • the impact of revolution and the establishment of new regimes;
  • the consequences of the overthrow of monarchy in a range of contexts and time periods;
  • the development of different ideologies and dictatorships, and their impact on society;

and are able to:

  • understand theoretical concepts and examine issues logically and systematically;
  • analyse and compare source material;
  • express yourself well, both in discussion and on paper;
  • carry out independent investigative research, including extensive reading and using the internet.


Special features

Members of the History Department have the opportunity to take part in a number of popular ‘extra’ activities. In the past few years these have included:

  • representing the college in the Lessons from Auschwitz Project;
  • historical film showings at the Picturehouse;
  • talks by visiting speakers;
  • trips to student conferences in London;


Entry requirements

At least 7 GCSEs at Grade 4 in a range of subjects including Maths. English  Language should be Grade 5.

A Grade 5 or equivalent is required in History if taken at GCSE level.


Find another course