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History AS at The Ashcombe School

Course description

Reformed Subject

Why study the subject?

To study A level History you need an interest in the world around you, an enquiring mind and the ability to weigh up evidence and arguments in order to make judgements. It is not essential to have GCSE History in order to study A level History, however, we recommend it, as the A level builds on the skills developed at GCSE such as analysis and evaluation, particularly of historical sources.


Course content

AS HISTORY 8HI0 - Nationalism, dictatorship and democracy in Twentieth-Century Europe

The options studied are linked by the themes of nationalism and dictatorship and their links with democracy. In Germany and Italy, a similar pattern of political change occurred that saw unstable democracies replaced by nationalist dictatorships, with significant impacts on the wider history of Europe, before returning to democratic forms of government. Studying two different countries allows students to develop a greater understanding of the ways in which nationalism, dictatorship and then the transition to democracy were manifested, and of the contrasts and similarities in the nations studied

Unit 1: Paper 1, Option 1G: Germany and West Germany, 1918-89

This option comprises a study in breadth, in which students will learn about key political changes experienced in a unified Germany and then in West Germany after the Second World War, and the impact of these changes on German economic, social and cultural developments. The focus of study is on developments and changes over a broad timescale and so the content is presented as themes spanning a significant duration: 1918–89. This option also contains a study in depth of historical interpretations on a broad question, which is contextualised by, and runs parallel to, the themes: how far Hitler’s foreign policy was responsible for the Second World War.

• Political and governmental change, 1918-89

• Opposition, control and consent, 1918–89

• Economic development and policies, 1918–89

• Aspects of life in Germany and West Germany, 1918–89

• How far was Hitler’s foreign policy responsible for the Second World War?

Exam details:     60 marks       2hr 15       60% of total AS
Unit 2: Paper 2, Option 2G.1: The rise and fall of fascism in Italy, c1911–46
This option comprises a study in depth of the turbulent years in Italy that saw the collapse of the liberal state, the creation of a fascist dictatorship and a return to democracy in the aftermath of the Second World War. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the extent and nature of the profound political, economic and social changes experienced by the Italian people in the years c1911–1946 and how the failure to create a stable, democratic Italian state in the early twentieth century led to the rise of a new political ideology and a personal dictatorship.
• The liberal state, c1911–18
• The rise of Mussolini and the creation of a fascist dictatorship, 1919–26
• The fascist state, 1925–40
• Challenges to, and the fall of, the fascist state, c1935–46
Exam details:   40 marks     1hr 30      40% of total AS

Entry requirements

Grade A*- C in GCSE History if taken, otherwise Grades A*-C in Mathematics and English are highly recommended.

Further information

Extra-Curricular Trips

We run trips to the National Archives, British Library, Hampton Court Palace and a 4 Day residential in Berlin. Students will also have the opportunity to visit New York and Washington.


How to apply

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

Last updated date: 25 August 2016
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