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A-Levels - A Level History at Wakefield College

Course description

This course will allow you to study the history of the Cold War 1945-91 and Tudors 1485-1603 in great detail. It will also develop your ability to think critically, analyse the nature of historical events, discuss and debate from an informed standpoint and conduct independent research.


Course content

What you will study

A Level
Tudors: England, 1485–1603
This option allows students to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the following key questions:

• How effectively did the Tudors restore and develop the powers of the monarchy?
• To what extent and why was power more widely shared during this period?
• Why and with what results were there so many changes to the Church and religious practice?
• How serious a threat was posed to Tudor monarchs by opposition and rebellion?
• How far and why were England’s relations with foreign powers changed?
• How important was the role of key individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments?

In other words, was Henry VII a genius king who created a dynasty his lazy son Henry VIII nearly lost? Well it's not that simple, but that is one of the questions we will ask.
The Cold War 1945-1991

This unit will develop your understanding of international conflicts and alliances that have shaped the modern world.
You will study key events such as the Yalta Conference, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the SALT talks, the reasons for the start of the Cold War and its escalation. The collapse of the Soviet Union and its allies in the 1980s is covered in detail, as is the role of the UN and other international organisations.

There is a significant focus on historical interpretation and research projects which mirror university style investigations.

Basically, did USSR leader Gorbachev bring an end to the system he was trying to save? Did the Soviet Union collapse because it couldn't build enough weapons or couldn't build enough cars?
Independent Historical Enquiry

For this unit you will draw from a range of questions, or write one of your own, relating to Imperialism. Most students will choose a British Empire related issue, for example, slavery, the Royal Navy, Gandhi and Indian Independence, though other questions may be agreed with the senior examiner.

You will be required to research and develop an historical investigation and write a footnoted, referenced and discursive extended essay of 3,500 words.

Course Structure

The full A level is a two year course, with exams at the end of the second year counting to the final grade. However, there is an Advanced Subsidiary qualification available and students will be sitting these exams at the end of the first year to get an independent evaluation of your level of performance.  It doesn't count towards your final mark, but is exceptionally important preparation for your second year examinations.

Entry requirements

5 GCSEs at A*-C (or new grade 9-4), including English Language and Maths
Recommended grade B (or new grade 6), in English


Assessment is by examination in May of the first year for AS, and by examination in June and coursework submitted in February of the second year for A Level. 

There are two written exams at the end of the second year.

Financial information

Tuition and certification are free if you are aged 16-18 years old. Related additional costs may include materials, equipment, visits, residentials etc which are payable by all students.
Any student entered/registered with an Awarding Body who has been given free entry and then withdraws or is withdrawn by a tutor will incur the certification fee associated with the course. Any resit examination will incur a cost.

Different fees apply to international students.

For more detailed information on financial support and fees for students aged 19+ please contact the Financial Support Team on 01924 789304.

Future opportunities

Further study

The majority of our students go onto university, many of them studying for a degree in History, Law, English or one of the Social Sciences. There are also combined degrees available in which you can continue with your history studies in combination with another subject of your choice.

History is regarded as a 'facilitating subject' which will increase your chance of progresion to a Russell Group University.

Career opportunities

Historians develop a wide range of analytical and communication skills which are extremely useful in the modern workplace. Stereotypically Historians go into the teaching profession and museums. In reality, most History graduates pursue careers in law, journalism, management, IT and social work or undertake further research; some become Prime Minister!

Further information

If you require further information please contact: The Course Information Team on 01924 789111

Visit our Sixth Form Facebook page at

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: 15 January 2018
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    • Wakefield College Crofton Academy (Postcode WF4 1NF)


      In September 2013 we were proud to launch a new centre for post-16 learners. The new centre is a collaboration between Crofton Academy and Wakefield College and will offer post-16 learners in the Wakefield District an exciting new learning environment combining the strengths of both organisations.

      The new centre is housed in a brand new building within the grounds of Crofton Academy and staffed by a combination of Wakefield College and Crofton Academy staff.

      It offers a range of post-16 education opportunities, at various levels, open to all students from across the District.  It will provide a career-focused offer, giving young people the chance to continue with the next stage of their education locally, before going into employment or on to university.