Still waters of a wide moat reflecting the historic stone walls and battlements of the Bishop's Palace at Wells, Somerset, UK.


Course Duration
2 Years

Examination Board

Entry Criteria
Grade 4 in both English and maths GCSEs, and at least 3 other qualifications at grade 4 or above including grade 5 in history GCSE.  If History was not studied at GCSE level, a grade 5 in English language GCSE is required.

Why study A level History?

What will I study during the course duration?

The topics in Year 12 are linked by the theme of challenges to the authority of the state  which span the early modern and modern periods. Comparing two different countries allows  students to develop a greater appreciation of the nature of different challenges to the  authority of the state and the similarities and contrasts between them. Students will study  the challenges to authority of the state in 19th century Britain and Italy. 

The Britain course is a thematic study in breadth, which allows students to gain a broad  understanding of the different forces for change acting upon Victorian Britain in the period.  The historical skill specifically linked to this course is historical interpretation. 

The Italy course is a chronological study in depth, which allows students to gain a deep  understanding of how Italy evolved from a collection of states to one united nation-state.  

The historical skill specifically linked to this course is source analysis and evaluation. 

Year 13 students will explore the ways in which Germany evolved as a new state in Europe  undergoing dramatic changes of fortune, set within broader long-term social and economic  developments. A dynamic empire ended in a brutal war and defeat; out of the ashes of imperial Germany, first a democratic republic and then an extraordinary dictatorship came into being, followed by dichotomous democracy and communist dictatorship and finally a new unity in 1990. 

How will I be assessed?

All exams are sat, and coursework is submitted, in Year 13. 

  • Paper 1 – Britain 1783-1870. Democracy, protest and reform: 30% of A Level, 2 hour 15  min examination 
  • Paper 2 – Italian Unification: 20% of A Level, 1 hour 30 min examination 
  • Paper 3 – Germany 1871-1990: 30% of A Level, 2 hour 15 min examination
  • Independent investigation (coursework): 20% of A Level.

Students will complete their assessed coursework on a topic provided by the academy. The  coursework will be between 4000 and 5000 words and will require the students to research  and enquire independently. The skills developed through this will benefit students greatly at  university.

Career opportunities and Future study

Studying History puts students in an ideal position to advance their future career prospects as they will develop many key transferable skills that are very attractive to employers, including research skills, problem-solving, critical thinking, communication skills and understanding global context.

While these skills are transferable to a number of jobs and higher education courses, there are some specific jobs and courses that link more directly with these, including:

  • Teaching in Schools
  • Law
  • The Police and Armed forces
  • National and Local Government
  • Civil Service and Diplomatic Service
  • Media and Journalism
  • Museums and Galleries
  • Heritage Sites and Organisations
  • Records Offices, Archives and Universities
  • Archaeology and Conservation