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History A level at Balcarras School

Course description

This is a diverse course which allows students to study both British and world history. Small parts of our studies should be familiar to students from GCSE but there is plenty of new material to get stuck into!

Course content

Unit 1 focuses on British history in the 18th and 19th century and looks at the great social, political and economic changes of that time period. Britain went through a massive transformation that led to it being the most powerful country in the world. Our course seeks to explore those changes in detail over the course of a 100- year period.

In unit 2 we turn our attention to a depth study in American history. The USA often boasts that it is the “land of the free”; however there has been a long history of prejudice and discrimination. Our study looks at the developments under several Presidents in the second half of the 20th century.

Finally unit 3 involves an independent investigation that consists of a 3,000- 4,000 word essay which looks at a historical question in the context of a 100-year period. This is an exciting new development in A-level history and gives plenty of opportunity for independent research and original thinking. The investigation element will allow students to pick a topic from a range of options in the second year.

Entry requirements

It is expected that A-level history students will have achieved a grade B or better at GCSE level. However, anyone with a grade C who is keen to study history will be considered, as will students who have not studied GCSE history but who have achieved a B grade in English.


Examination – AQA


Unit 1: Revolution and the People: Britain, 1783-1885, 2½ hours - 40%

Unit 2: The American Dream: Reality and illusion, 1945-1980, 2½ hours - 40%

Unit 3: Historical Investigation: Non-exam assessment - 20%


The department also offers a 1-year AS course which looks at both units 1 and 2. Both of these units are 50% of the AS-level and the two exams are 1½ hours long.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 09 September 2016
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years