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History A Level at Comberton Village College & Sixth Form

Course description

Why study History? 

Apart from the transferable skills that history gives us, it is important to study history because:

  • History is a fascinating subject!
  • History isn't just about the past. It plays a vital role in helping us understand the present: who we are, where we have come from, the people we meet, the world and societies in which we live, the way people behave, and where we are going
  • History contributes to understanding between different cultures and people

Course content

What will I study? 

The subject content for A-Level History is divided into four components:

Unit 1: British period study and enquiry
Unit 2: Non-British period study
Unit 3: Thematic study and historical interpretations 
Unit 4: Topic based essay (coursework)

Unit 1: Britain 1930-1997 
1 hour 30 minute paper; 50 marks; 25% of total A-Level
These units are assessed in two parts: the enquiry and the period study, and thus the question paper has two sections:

Section A: Enquiry topic on Churchill, 1930-1951 –this is a source based topic covering reasons why Churchill was out of office between1929-1939, Churchill as wartime prime minister, and international diplomacy from 1939-1951.

Section B: British Period Study, 1951-1997 – this topic will cover the reasons for Conservative domination 1951-1964, the Labour and Conservative governments of 1964 -1979, Thatcher and the end of Consensus and Britain’s position in the world throughout the period. 

Unit 2: Russia 1894–1941
1 hour paper; 30 marks; 15% of total A-Level
Learners will answer one two-part question from a choice of two.

This paper covers the rule of Tsar Nicholas II, the 1917 revolutions, the Civil War and Lenin and the rule of Stalin.

Unit 3: Popular Culture and the Witchcraze of the 16th and 17th Centuries
2 hour 30 minute paper; 80 marks; 40% of total A-Level
Assessment of units in this unit group is in two parts: the historical interpretations depth study and the thematic essay, and thus the question paper has two parts.

Section A: Thematic study – this will cover the complexities of popular culture in the Early Modern Period, the main reasons for the growth and decline in persecution of the witches, the persecuted and the responses of the authorities to witchcraft.

Section B: Depth Studies – you will study three depth studies; the Witchcraze in Southern Germany, Hopkins and the witch hunt of 1645-1647 (East Anglia) and the Salem witch trials.

Unit 4: Topic based essay (coursework)
Non-exam assessment; 40 marks; 20% of total A-Level

An extended essay of 3000–4000 words, arising from independent study and research, on a topic of the learner’s choice.


History Extras

The History Department hopes to offer the following international visits:

  • There will be visits to the Houses of Parliament and the Churchill War Rooms in London.
  • The department has links to universities  and offers a range of visits to lectures, as well as visits from experts in their field.

Entry requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements:

5 x 5s*

4 in English and Maths

Subject Specific Entry Requirements:

6 in GCSE History

* Please note that Level 2 vocational courses are the equivalent of 1 GCSE and only 1 will be counted towards the A-Level pathway entry requirements

Future opportunities

What can I do with History after sixth form?

With History A-level, students can go on to study the subject at university. However, there is a huge number of transferable skills which students develop through studying History: communication skills (written and verbal), the ability to evaluate critically evidence in a variety of forms, and the ability to evaluate critically arguments and interpretations. It is very highly regarded by employers and will equip students for many different occupations, including teaching, law, journalism and working in the Civil Service.

Further information

Exam Board


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: 26 September 2017
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