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History A Level at Sheffield College

Course description

About the course

Our history course focuses on British and European history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Through this we aim to stimulate your interest in the past and your appreciation of the importance of history in the contemporary world. We also aim to develop your understanding of the controversial nature of history and your skills of historical enquiry.

You will study the transformation of Europe in the 19th century through the creation of two new states – Italy and Germany.  You will explore how this resulted from, for example, the spread of revolutionary ideas such as nationalism, war between Europe’s great powers and the actions of key statesmen such as Cavour and Bismarck.  The second unit focuses on British history.  You will also study the relationship between changes in the mass media and wider changes in social, economic and cultural life in Britain since 1945.

In the second year you will study in depth German history from 1900-45. This will include the Kaiser’s empire before 1914, the impact of the First World War on German society and politics, the Weimar Republic, the rise of Hitler and the Nazis and the impact of the Second World War on the Nazi regime. We will also focus on two historical controversies: Germany’s responsibility for the First World War, and the reasons for the populist appeal of Hitler and the Nazi regime to the German people, in the years to 1945. The second unit focuses on the development of representation and democracy in Britain over the period 1830-1930 with a particular emphasis on the causes of change over the 100-year period.

Disclaimer: Please note that at the time of writing the EdExcel syllabus is still in draft form. Updates are available on the examination board website

Will this subject suit me?

If you have an interest in the world around you, the society you live in and how it has developed; if you enjoy learning about people in a different time and place, how they interacted and what motivated them; if you enjoy analysing evidence and debating what it shows, then history is the subject for you.

Previous study of History is not essential.

Personal study time

You will experience a mix of learning activities in class and will be given a variety of tasks and assignments to be completed in your own time.  Over the course of an academic year you should reckon on spending about as much time studying history outside the classroom as you do in it. This will mainly be on assignments set by your teachers but you will also be encouraged to take personal responsibility for your learning through self-assigned tasks such as extended reading and note making.

Qualification title

A Level History

What students say about this subject

"The teacher is inspirational."

"I found the course so interesting that after the first year I changed my mind about what I wanted to study at university and chose history instead."

"The topic and themes of the classes are always clearly set out at the beginning."

"I was so pleased that what I was taught about essay writing in my first year at university I had already learned at College – this really boosted my confidence."


Entry requirements

To study 3  A Levels: 5 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above including English Language and Maths

To study 4 A Levels: 5 GCSEs at Grade 5 or above, including English Language and Maths

Additional Requirements: GCSE Grade 5-9 in History (if taken)



This course is assessed through examinations.

Financial information


At The Sheffield College we will always do our best to support you through your studies, to make them as stress free as possible. We have a specialist support team who can give you all the advice you need on all things financial, including what might be available to you, so that you don’t go short and you can concentrate all your efforts into your studies.

Free meals

If you meet the eligibility criteria we’ll be able to support you with free meals. You’ll get an amount of money that you can use within the college shops and diners per day. This will be added to your student ID card which you will just swipe to purchase items.

Travel passes

Students (including Apprentices) of The Sheffield College who live in South Yorkshire are eligible for a 16–18 Student Pass which entitles pass holders to cheaper travel on buses and trams in South Yorkshire. Pass holders are also entitled to half fare on Northern train services in South Yorkshire.

Learner Support Fund

If you are enrolled with us, you may receive support towards the cost of:

  • Travel

  • Books and materials

  • Uniform and equipment

  • Essential course trips

  • NUS extra

  • DBS checks needed for your course (previously known as CRB)
  • UCAS registration fee and travel to interviews when applying for university

Future opportunities

Where can it lead?

A Level History is a highly regarded qualification.  We have close ties with the History Departments at both universities in Sheffield but past students have also gone on to study history either as a single subject or in combination with others at a wide range of universities throughout the country. The historian’s skills are also highly valued in a variety of careers including law, journalism, theatre production, teaching, business and public service.

Further information

How to apply   

School pupils in Sheffield should apply on-line with the help of their school.  Other students can apply using a paper application form available from any college campus, by phoning 0114 260 2600, or downloading one from our website

Open Days

Why not come and see for yourself. Visit us on one of our open evenings and meet the people who will be teaching you, have a chat about what the course involves and look round our fantastic facilities where you’ll be learning.

Our City, Hillsborough, Peaks and Olive Grove campuses will be open on the following days:

  • Thursday 12th October 2017, 3.30pm - 7pm
  • Monday 20th November 2017, 3.30pm - 7pm
  • Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 3.30pm - 7pm
  • Wednesday 7th March 2018, 3.30pm - 7pm
  • Thursday 17th May 2018, 3.30pm - 7pm

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 17 October 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: Two years
  • Course code: HRENA1


  • More information
    • Welcome to Hillsborough Campus

      Our Hillsborough campus in the north of the city is our creative hub with Art and Design, Photography, Fashion, and Music all based at the campus alongside more traditional courses such as A-Levels and our strong Sports base.

      The facilities at Hillsborough really have to be seen to be believed (why don’t you check out the tour!) from shiny Mac suites, which there are numerous, to sprung dance studios, a theatre and a TV studio.

      Hillsborough’s not just for those who are confident on the stage or in front of the camera, it also has a stage production workshop for set design and prop making, a wire tension grid which provides a strong, safe and virtually invisible platform for lighting changes to be made.

      Hillsborough also has a gym, a 3G sports pitch and a sports hall which is available for use for all, not just those studying Sport.

      If you need childcare, no problem! The Hillsborough campus has an Ofsted Outstanding rated nursery onsite.


      Hillsborough Campus, Livesey Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S6 2ET

      By Car

      From the M1 take Junction 33 onto the Sheffield Parkway.

      Take a right onto Derek Dooley Way/A61 and follow the A61 for approximately 2 miles.

      When you reach a KFC restaurant on your left and Owlerton Stadium on your right, turn right onto Livesey Street. Hillsborough Campus is located approximately 300 metres down Livesey Street, on the right hand side.


      Unfortunately the only on-site parking available at Hillsborough is for Blue Badge holders (more access information can be found here), however there is pay and display on-street parking and car parks available nearby.

      By Train

      Once you arrive at the station your best bet is to hop on a tram – the train station even has its own tram stop. See the Tram section below for more details.

      By Tram

      Pick up a blue line tram heading towards Malin Bridge and get off at Hillsborough or Hillsborough Park – both of which are around 5 minutes away.

      You can use the Supertram website to plan your journey and get up to date information about fares.

      By Bus

      There are a number of different buses that stop near Hillsborough Campus – too many to list here in fact!

      Check out the Travel South Yorkshire website for further details.

      By Bike

      Hillsborough has secure bike storage on site. Please speak to Student Services to register and gain access to the storage facilities.


      For accessibility information please see the Disabled Go website here.