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Alevel History at King Edward VI Aston School

Course description

A Level History at Aston is a popular and successful subject which aims not only to produce excellent results but also to capture the students’ interests through lively and often provocative courses of study. Every year the department successfully helps many of their students to gain places in prestigious universities around the country to continue reading History, including the Universities of Cambridge, Warwick, Liverpool, Leeds and Durham.

History is a subject that complements a wide range of other choices, from Economics and Politics to Mathematics and the Sciences, and is considered invaluable by many employers due to the key skills that it develops. The ability to work and research independently and present a closely detailed argument are abilities valued in all professional walks of life; many History students develop careers in law, journalism, broadcasting, politics, social work and public services.

History is one of many subjects that have undergone a major and exciting A Level curriculum change in September 2015. The course at Aston is taught over two years, with all examination taking place in the summer of Year 13.

Course content

The A Level History course is split into 3 Units; a breadth study of changes over time, a depth study of a specific era and a personal study of 3,500 words on a question of the students’ choice relating to a particular topic. The Units studied at Aston are:

·         Unit 1 – Breadth - The British Empire, c. 1857-1960

·         Unit 2 – Depth - The Birth of the USA, c. 1760-1815

·         Unit 3 – Personal Study – Civil Rights in the USA

Throughout the course you will complete various forms of assessment from extended homework research tasks to written essays in exam conditions.  You will be expected to learn key terms, dates and events and will be receiving random knowledge recall tests to check their understanding of this information. It is expected that you review your learning throughout the course to give yourself the best chance of success.



Type of assessment

Length of assessment

% of total A Level

Unit 1 British Empire

Exam – externally marked

2 hours 30 minutes


Unit 2   Birth of the USA

Exam – externally marked

2 hours 30 minutes


Unit 3

Civil Rights in USA

Personal Study (essay) – marked internally and moderated externally*

3,500 words


Unit 3 mostly relies on your own research and reading, which is conducted over the summer holidays in-between Years 12 and 13. Your final essay will be handed in in December of Year 13 to be internally marked before being sent off for external moderation by the exam board.

Future opportunities

History is an invaluable subject in gaining access to the professions, as the ability to work and research independently, and present a closely detailed argument are skills valued in all professional walks of life. Many History students develop careers in law, journalism, broadcasting, politics, social work and public services Students who specialise in history can also go on to become teachers, historical researchers and also work in heritage organisations.

Further information

A clear emphasis is placed on the development of the more mature approach to greater independent study, and control by students of their own learning. Students will recognise a continued emphasis placed by the Department on rigorous, successful and enjoyable study. Students will be expected to read widely and prepare notes in order to actively contribute in lessons. During the course there will be opportunities to participate in conferences and lecture days as well as the chance to travel to either Vietnam or Versailles.


How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact King Edward VI Aston School directly.

Last updated date: 13 November 2015
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