History Information Guide


 History is a fascinating and exciting subject, not only because it encourages the discovery of secrets from the past, but also because it helps us to understand the world today. A Level History offers a broad and in-depth study of the past, incorporating a spectrum of skills such as: critical and reflective thinking, communication, analysis, evaluation, research.

Who is this course for?

 The History course is right for you if you enjoy a challenge and like to argue about different interpretations of the past while developing essential skills.

Course Content

A two-year course leading to an A Level qualification awarded by the AQA examination board.

Over the two years you will study three components alongside each other. The components are:

Component One: The Tudors – England 1485-1603

You will examine the reigns of Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I. You will focus on issues such as:

  • How did the Tudors develop the powers of the monarchy?
  • How effectively was England governed?
  • How did foreign policy, society, religion and the economy change and affect England?

Component Two: America – A Nation Divided c1845-1877

You will explore a major period of change in American history in depth. You will focus on issues such as:

  • The origins of the American Civil War, including slavery and westward expansion
  • The American Civil War itself
  • The aftermath of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Component Three: Non-examined assessment

You will complete a piece of coursework (essentially, an extended essay) based largely on your own research. The coursework will be based on Russia, 1855-1964.


You will have two exams at the end of your second year, one for each component, and each is worth 40% of the total marks. You will also complete one piece of coursework which makes up 20% of total marks.


History is a highly regarded subject which employers and universities love because History students have to think critically and be able to apply their knowledge. They also recognise that the study of History allows students to develop research and organisational skills and the ability to communicate clearly, both on paper and orally. Study History and your career options will be wide! It opens the door to law, accountancy, management, banking, teaching, retail, conservation, the heritage industry … and many other lines of work.