Head of Department: Mr M lockwood
Why choose History at A Level?
Advanced Level History is recognised as one of the most important of academic disciplines. History is a stimulating subject which develops the intellect, encourages debate and satisfies curiosity. The study of the past is essential to the understanding of our own culture and the cultures of other countries and peoples.
Members of the department are able to follow their particular specialist interests which have resulted in excellent examination scores.
What does the History course involve?
German and Italian Unification (Unit 1)
As late as 1864 Germany consisted of a number of loosely affiliated states, yet, by 1871 it had emerged united and ready to dominate the continent of Europe; until 1870 Italy was made up of a number of states, yet, through political intrigue and heroic nationalism, it was united as a single state.
British History 1830 – 1875 (Unit 2)
From a political landscape of Rotten Boroughs to the Second Reform Act, this module covers a critical period in Britain’s political history. This era included the rise of the Chartists, the repeal of the Corn Laws, the Crimean War as well as persistent unrest and coercion in Ireland. It also includes a part of British History when backbench MPs actually defied the party leadership.
Germany 1890-1945 (Unit 3)
From a stable monarchy, through the traumas of defeat in the Great War, and then to the construction of a model democracy before the catastrophe of the Third Reich, this module deals with one of the central issues of the twentieth century – the collapse of a sophisticated and enlightened nation into the quagmire of Nazism.
Coursework – Russian Revolution (Unit 4)
Two pieces of coursework (about 2,000 on each) will be submitted on this taught module on the Bolshevik Revolution. The Tsars had ruled Russia since the sixteenth century, yet, within eight short months in 1917 the last Tsar had been deposed and a fledgling democracy had been overthrown by a dedicated and ruthless band of revolutionaries.
How will I study History?
The courses will be centred upon the intensive study of the central issues and developments. The department will supply all necessary textbooks, whilst the School and Departmental libraries will provide additional specialist material. The department offers this range of options in order to make best use of the specialisms of the teaching staff, all of whom have at least a Masters Degree in the History. In the past, the department has undertaken visits to VI Form lectures. Extended pieces of writing are a requirement of this subject and the department has a long track record of producing candidates who are able to argue a point coherently and cogently on paper.
How will I be assessed?
The Edexcel syllabus includes four separate modules: two at AS and two at A2. The AS modules will be examined, in June at the end of the Lower Sixth; the A2 Coursework will be submitted and the final module will be examined at the end of the Upper Sixth. On Germany there will be essay questions and evidence based questions. The coursework will be internally assessed by the department and externally moderated by the board.
What qualifications do I need to start the History course?
GCSE in History is a requirement of the course.
With what other subjects does History fit?
Traditionally, History was undertaken with other Arts and Humanities including Modern Languages, English, Economics, Geography, Classical subjects and Politics; in recent years, candidates have undertaken the study of History with the Sciences and Mathematics. If a candidate enjoys the study of a particular subject alongside History, then it is a subject worth undertaking.
What can I do at University with an A Level in History?
History is a respected academic A Level, and therefore assists with a university application in any discipline. In particular, History is able to help pupils to master the written word – this is a very useful skill especially when explaining and analysing complex issues in a whole range of subjects. Many candidates do go onto read History at university as they find it interesting, stimulating and highly relevant.
How will an A Level in History help me in my future life and career?
History concerns the study of the truth about the past, it is, therefore an important building block in the path to a mature understanding of the world in which we live. In terms of careers, History opens a number of doors: Law, Civil Service, Journalism, Accountancy, Publishing, Broadcasting, Banking and Finance. It is worth noting that our current Prime Minister is a History graduate, as is the present coach of the England Rugby team.
An understanding of the past enables us to make sense of the present and to look at the future intelligently. The study of the past is rewarding, stimulating, and, like many aspects of life, enjoyable hard work.