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History A-Level at Polam Hall School

Course description

Students examine the past and develop a better understanding of the world of today. We concentrate on more recent history At AS and A2 Level. History is a good complement to Theatre Studies and English Literature and Language: providing the context in which to study texts. It marries well with Politics and should interest students considering careers in law, journalism, broadcasting and business management. The skills developed during the course have a widespread application to many areas of further study. History also combines well with languages for those interested in careers in the Foreign Office or in Europe.

To be successful, students need to be willing to read: research by reading broadly around the subject and watching appropriate television programmes supports the classroom based course. History students must offer reasoned judgements so the subject is ideal for people who enjoy debating issues in a disciplined way and writing a coherent developed argument. The skills developed at GCSE are the same as those needed for GCE study.

History is one of the very few subjects where course work is compulsory. It will be done for Unit Four in the Upper Sixth, partly in class (two lessons a week) and partly for prep. This provides an opportunity for students to study an aspect of the course in some depth and is the perfect vehicle for developing those communication, analytical and research skills which are vital for university study and working life. The teacher and student are expected to work together in class on a one to one basis within clearly defined limits.

Course content

Unit 1: Russia in Revolution 1881-1924 and Stalin’s Russia 1924-53. 

Unit 2: British Political History 1945-90: Consensus and Conflict 

Unit 3: A range of options. Currently this involves a study of the USA: Boom, Bust and Recovery 1917 - 1954 

Unit 4: A range of options are available covering a 100 year period. 12 lessons of teaching followed by course work lessons. Currently we are studying the Arab-Israeli Dispute, which complements the Russia history at AS. 

The periods being studied are reviewed annually to take account of subjects studied at GCSE.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for Advanced Level study is 6 A* - C grades. Students’ GCSEs must include Mathematics and English at least at Grade C. 4/3 subjects at AS level are usually studied in the first year.


Unit 1:

  • Examination: 1 hour 20 minutes. One question on 1881-1924 and one on Stalin. Essay based. Choice of question. 

Unit 2:

  • Examination: 1 hour 20 minutes. Two from a choice of source based questions. 

Unit 3:

  • Examination: 2 hours. One essay question out of two. One source based question out of two. 

Unit 4:

  • Course work. 

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 22 April 2015
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