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History A Level (AQA) at Brigshaw High School and Language College

Course description

History is about your own opinion and using reliable evidence to support your argument. Have you ever considered that the majority of the history that you read and study has been written by the victors? Do you always believe everything you read? History is important as we learn how to evaluate and analyse the evidence effectively.

Furthermore, the information studied will open your eyes to the world that you live in and make you think about some of the most crucial events of the past 500 years. You will investigate British and European History in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including the rise and consolidation of communism in Russia and also how and why the British Empire became the premier power in the world.

Course content

We follow AQA GCE History course – first teaching September 2015.

A Breadth Study: 1J The British Empire, c1857–1967

This option allows students to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the following key questions:

  • Why did the British Empire grow and contract?
  • What influenced imperial policy?
  • What part did economic factors play in the development of the British Empire?
  • How did the Empire influence British attitudes and culture?
  • How did the indigenous peoples respond to British rule?
  • How important was the role of key individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments?

We study this through these time periods:

Part one: the High Water Mark of the British Empire, c1857–1914 The development of Imperialism, c1857–c1890 Imperial consolidation and Liberal rule, c1890–1914 Part two: Imperial retreat, 1914–1967 (A-level only) Imperialism challenged, 1914–1947 (A-level only) The winds of change, 1947–1967 (A-level only)


A Depth study: 2N Revolution and dictatorship: Russia, 1917–1953

This option provides for the study in depth of the coming and practice of communism in Russia. It explores concepts such as Marxism, communism, Leninism, and Stalinism, ideological control and dictatorship. It also enables students to consider issues of political authority, the power of individuals and the inter-relationship of governmental and economic and social change.

Part one: The Russian Revolution and the Rise of Stalin, 1917–1929 Dissent and Revolution, 1917 Bolshevik consolidation, 1918–1924 Stalin’s rise to power, 1924–1929 Part two: Stalin’s Rule, 1929–1953 (A-level only) Economy and society, 1929–1941 (A-level only) Stalinism, politics and control, 1929–1941 (A-level only) The Great Patriotic War and Stalin’s Dictatorship, 1941–1953 (A-level only) 

Entry requirements

We ask that you have a C or more at GCSE if you wish to study History at Brigshaw. We do accept students who have no GCSE in History but ask that you have a B or above in English. 


AS Level History is examined in the Summer of Year 12, and you will sit two papers: AS British Empire and AS Russian history.

If you opt to continue to A Level History, you will sit two exams at the end of Year 13, and you will also have the opportunity to complete a personal assignment, which will enable you to show your ability to research independently and draw your own evidenced conclusions.

Financial information

All Post 16 learners have the opportunity to apply for a discretionary bursary

At present this is accessible for learners who:

  • Were eligible for free school meals in Y11
  • Who have a household income below £20,000

These criteria are subject to change

Future opportunities

The Guardian reported a historian looks at problems in a wide ranging way and is more likely to find solutions than any other qualified person. Cicero, a Roman Senator, also wrote to be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.

History has always been an academic and rigorous subject at this level. It provides an ideal foundation for students wishing to go on to study at university of work in law, journalism, teaching, the police and a great many other professions. Furthermore, did you know that one third of people who are employed in Britain’s major businesses have a university qualification in History?

Further information

For more information contact Mr Tuck or Ms Wright.

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: 19 October 2015
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