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History at Gateshead College

Course description

Most people who choose History at A Level do so first and foremost because they find the subject-matter interesting. This is very important, as you will struggle to work hard over one or two years if you do not enjoy the material you are studying.

It goes particularly well with subjects such as Politics and Economics and many take History alongside English or Modern Languages.

You need to be able to master a lot of factual information quickly and accurately; to use books effectively to pick out relevant information and to understand relatively academic language; to analyse, evaluate and explain events and problems; and develop sufficient linguistic skills to write a clear and logical essay.

If you have a natural interest in society around you and are interested in current affairs, then you will almost certainly enjoy studying History. It is not essential to have studied it for GCSE, but success in English GCSE is a good guide as to your likely success in the subject.

Course content

Britain, 1906-51: see how Britain evolved in the early twentieth century and discover the impact of two world wars and the introduction of a welfare state.

Germany, 1933-45: how did the Nazis rise to power in Germany? Who was Hitler? How did the German people accept this rule? Did the oppose it? All of these questions will be answered and you will learn to incorporate sources into your evaluation.

Britain, 1951-2007: This will complete the first unit and give you an insight into what life was like for your parents and grandparents. What did they eat? What did they watch? And which music did they listen to?

USA, 1865-1992: This independent study will focus on the struggles of wither African –Americans, women or American Indians in achieving better conditions and receiving the right to vote and participate in society fully.

Entry requirements

5 GCSEs grade A*-C, including grade B or better in history.


  • Britain, 1906-51 (75 minute exam)
  • Germany, 1933-45 (90 minutes exam)
  • Britain, 1951-2007 (90 minute exam)
  • USA, 1865-1992 (3,500 word coursework)

Future opportunities

The skills used in History are relevant to a much wider range of subjects and vocations and it is a good A Level to consider taking if you are interested in pursuing any Humanities-based degree at university.

It is perhaps the best A Level to take if you are thinking of studying Law at university.

It is widely recognised that A Level History remains an academically demanding subject with high prestige.

Universities and employers know that someone who has been successful in the study of History should have acquired a range of important skills.

Further information

History is such an important subject as it tells us who we are and why we are the way we are. We are building strong links with local universities and have subject experts, renowned around the world, speaking to our history classes.

We have a diverse range of students who study this at A Level - they have come from all over the local area and bring a whole host of interests.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Gateshead College directly.

Last updated date: 12 April 2016

Key information


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    • Gateshead College's Baltic Campus is located on the Gateshead quayside, just minutes from Newcastle City Centre and its attractions.

      The College is situated behind the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and The Sage Gateshead.

      The College has its own car park, but at busy times alternative parking is available nearby.

      There is a charge for parking. Students can apply for a permit to allow free parking during study time.