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A Level History at Ilfracombe Academy

Course description

This new A Level History course involves the study of 4 units over two years. There is no requirement to enter AS Level at the end of year 12 but we may keep this option open to individuals who we think might benefit.

Course content

Year 12

Unit 1: British Period study and enquiry: England 1199-1272 Enquiry topic: King John 1199 - 1216) This is an enquiry and sourced-based study coupled with an outline period study. It includes the Baronial Rebellion of 1215 and the signing and significance of the Magna Carta.

Unit 2: Non British period study: The USA in the 19th Century. Westward expansion and Civil War 1803-1890. This topic includes the causes and impacts of expansion across America, including the need and use of railways, the concept of 'manifest destiny', steamboats, telegraph, the Mormons, as well as the fur trade, gold-mining and many other aspects of what we know as the 'Wild West'. In addition, it covers the culture and society of Native Americans and the 'Indian Wars' together with the American Civil War.

Year 13

Unit 3: Thematic Study and interpretations: Russia and its Rulers 1865 - 1964. The theme focuses on the similarities and differences between the rule of the tsars and the subsequent communist dictatorships of Lenin and Stalin. This also examines the impact of WW1, WW2 and the Cold War on Russian society and the economy.

Unit 4: Personal Study: Topic based essay 3,000-4,000 words. This is the 'jewel in the crown' for any budding historian: the chance to choose a historical topic and research it in depth, decide upon a question and then answer it in a piece of extended written work. Past topics have included: Secret Operations of WW2; The Holocaust; Ghengis Khan; Abraham Lincoln; The Abolition of Slavery.

Entry requirements

Students must have a minimum of grade C History GCSE and preferably a GCSE Grade C or better in English with good written fluency.

Future opportunities

Journalism, Law, Media, Arts and Education: the choice of profession is very wideranging. A past student, Shaun Ley, is now a political correspondent for the BBC. Many students have gone on to study History, Law or Politics at University. The study of History encourages a critical evaluation of evidence, develops the ability to frame and sustain an argument as well as widening the understanding of human beings and what motivates them. All these skills are highly valued by employers, universities and colleges.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ilfracombe Academy directly.

Last updated date: 16 April 2015

Key information


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    • The Ilfracombe Academy provides a range of rich and exciting courses to inspire student’s across all levels of the spectrum, from history and geography to media and the arts. Students can feel safe in the knowledge that they are focused on their correct course path and goals for their future career. Assisted by professional and friendly teaching staff, you can be sure that the information being delivered on your course is relevant and useful in driving you towards your goals and future success.