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History A-Level at Clevedon School

Course description

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

George Santayana

Governments and people face great challenges in the 21st century. Solutions to such challenges lie in the study of the past, because often human beings have faced similar challenges before. The study of history makes us acutely aware of the responsibility we have as citizens to hold our government to account and become active members in society.

Course content

The course focuses on 19th and 20th century European history. You will study two main taught units over the two years. In addition, in Year 13 you also have to complete an independent historical investigation. The two main taught units comprise of a breadth study, looking at over 100 years of Russian history, and a depth study, looking at the development of modern Britain. Both units will provide you with the historical context and insight to be able to understand current political ideas and conflicts in Britain and Europe.

The historical investigation allows you to conduct independent research into a question of your choice within the topic “The Changing Nature of Warfare, 1789-1918”. Previous students have focused on themes such as medicine, technological developments, strategy and the role of women.

Unit 1 Breadth Study: Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855-1964

Year 12: Autocracy, Reform and Revolution, 1855-1917

  • Trying to preserve autocracy, 1855-1894
  • The collapse of autocracy, 1894-1917

Year 13: The Soviet Union, 1917-1964

  • The emergence of Communist dictatorship, 1917-1941
  • The Stalinist dictatorship and reaction, 1941-1964

Unit 2 Depth Study: The Making of Modern Britain, 1951-2007

Year 12: Building a new Britain, 1951-1979

  • The Affluent Society, 1951-1964
  • The Sixties, 1964-1970
  • The End of Post-War Consensus, 1970-1979

Year 13: Modern Britain, 1979-2007

  • The Impact of Thatcherism, 1979-1987
  • Towards a new Consensus, 1987-1997
  • The Era of New Labour, 1997-2007

Unit 3 Historical Investigation: The Changing Nature of Warfare, 1789-1918

A personal study based on your choice of question. 3000-3500 word piece of coursework. 20%

Entry requirements


In order to be admitted onto Level 3 courses, students should satisfy all the following requirements:

  • At the end of Year 11 secure a minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grades A* to C at GCSE.
  • Secured at least a grade B at GCSE in the subject that the student wishes to study at Post 16, or the same grade in a related subject where it has not been previously studied GCSE.
  • Have demonstrated, through their previous education career, the level of self-motivation and commitment required for Post 16 study.

NB. In exceptional cases one or more of the above requirements may be waived at the discretion of the Headteacher or his designated member of staff. The school reserves the right not to admit onto the requested course, despite meeting the above requirements, if on educational grounds it is not considered to be appropriate to the needs and ability of the student concerned.


Unit 1 Breadth Study: Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855-1964

2 hour 30 minutes written examination - 40%

Unit 2 Depth Study: The Making of Modern Britain, 1951-2007

  • 2 hour 30 minutes written examination - 40%




Future opportunities

History is a traditional subject that has retained its academic rigour and is well respected by universities and top employers. It is a key choice for aspiring lawyers, for example.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 05 May 2015

Key information