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History AS/A2 Level at Birchwood Community High School

Course description

History links well with other subjects at Level 3 and provides a pathway into a variety of higher education and degree courses. The study of History is very useful for a number of careers and is a well established subject at our most prestigious universities in the UK.

This course offers a fascinating insight into modern History allowing you to gain an in-depth understanding of developments that have shaped the World over the past two centuries. Each of the units offered is distinctive and seeks to address a diverse yet complimentary range of historical issues and skills. If you have an enquiring mind and enjoy intellectual debate, then this is the subject for you!

Course content

AS History

Unit 1: Breadth study with interpretations—Russia, 1917–91: (60% of  AS Level)

This unit includes the following areas of study:

  • How and why did Russia become the World’s first ever Communist state?
  • How did Stalin eliminate his opponents?
  • How did Communism change Russia’s industry and agriculture?
  • Why did Communism come to a sudden end in 1989?


Unit 2: Depth Study—The German Democratic Republic, 1949–90 (40% of the AS Level)

This unit complements the breadth study by allowing a study in depth of another Communist society:

  • How east Germany came under Communist control.

A Level History

Unit 1 & 2: These are the same  as studied at AS Level 

Unit 3: Themes in breadth with aspects in depth The British Experience of Warfare c.1790—1918

This unit includes the following areas of study:

  • The Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War, The Boer War and WWI.
  • How the organisation of the military changed between 1790—1918
  • How war has affected ordinary people between 1790—1918.

Unit 4: Coursework

The purpose of the  coursework  unit is to enable students to develop skills in the analysis and evaluation of interpretations of history. Students will be able to  chose a question, problem or issue of interest as part of an independently researched assignment.


  • Life under Communism
  • The collapse of Communism in 1989.


AS Examinations

Paper 1 – Examined in June of Year 12. You will be required to answer two essay questions about themes across the period and one essay question about interpretations of the period.

Paper 2 – Examined in June of Year 12. You will be required to answer a two part source based question and an essay in a one hour and thirty minute exam.


A Level  Examinations

Paper 1- Breadth study with interpretations ( 30% of A Level) written examination lasting 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Paper 2 - Depth Study  (20% of A Level) written examination lasting  1 hour and 30 minutes.

Paper 3 - Themes  in breadth with aspects in depth (30% off A Level) Students will answer one source based question, one depth essay and one thematic essay.

Coursework – (20% of A Level) You will be required to submit your work during the spring term of Year 13.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Birchwood Community High School directly.

Last updated date: 29 May 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years