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History A Level at The Downs School

Course description

The course offers students the opportunity to study History in breadth as well as in depth, to develop expertise in a variety of skills and to acquire and demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the periods studied. The History Department is well resourced, has creative teachers with a range of historical interests and has an enviable record of success.

Course content

A Level (Years 12 and 13)

Unit 1: The Age of the Crusades 1071-1204. The Crusades have long fascinated historians and they continue to be relevant be to our modern day society. The course will cover the motivation behind the Crusades, as well as the events and individuals such as Richard the Lionheart and Saladin. The course will also focus on the establishment and subsequent loss of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Unit 2: The Making of Modern Britain 1951-2007. This contemporary history course covers the story of modern Britain between the premierships of Winston Churchill and Tony Blair and focuses on the political, economic and social developments during this key period. The course also looks at the last 60 years of British foreign policy in relation to the Cold War, Europe, USA, the Commonwealth and the Middle East.

Unit 3: Historical Investigation. This unit requires students to research and produce a personal study which tests them on their understanding of change over 100 years. The topic will focus on the reasons behind the advancement of black civil rights in America 1863-1980.

AS Level (Year 12 only – PLEASE NOTE this no longer counts towards the full A Level)

Unit 1: The Age of the Crusades 1071-1149. This course will cover the motivations of crusaders, the First and Second Crusades as well as the establishment of the crusader states and the problems of defence in a hostile land. It will also examine the reasons for the foundation of military orders such as the Knights Templar.

Unit 2: The Making of Modern Britain 1951-1979. This course covers the first three decades post WW2 examining the impact of immigration and racial tensions on society as well as foreign policy issues such as Suez and the Vietnam War. It also examines the impact of economic policy and the end of the postwar consensus.

Entry requirements

A minimum of GRADE B in History at GCSE is required for students to study A-Level History. A GRADE B or above in English Language would be considered if a student hadn‟t studied GCSE History



Future opportunities

As well as leading directly to an undergraduate degree in history at university, A Level History is a highly regarded A Level choice and is also helpful for those thinking of a career in the Civil Service, law, management, banking, advertising, publishing, journalism, TV/radio programme research or the armed forces.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Downs School directly.

Last updated date: 26 June 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years