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History (Late Medieval and Early Modern) AS and A Level at York College

Course description

History has rightly been described as an ‘argument without end'. It offers no fixed answers but some insight into what it is to be a human being and real training in logical thought, data-handling and the attractive expression of ideas. It is also great fun.

Year 1

Paper 1: England, authority, nation and religion 1509–1603

Our focus will be on the important political, social and economic features of Tudor England from the accession of Henry VIII in 1509 to the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. Students will study the concept of continuity and change over time using historical interpretations of the past.

Paper 2: Luther and the German Reformation, c1515–55

We will study in depth Luther’s challenge to the Catholic Church, the development of a separate Lutheran Church within the German states, and the response of Empire and the papacy to this challenge to 1555. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of Luther’s religious protests and the involvement of secular and religious leaders in driving, and resisting, religious and political change in the German states in this period.

Year 2

Paper 3: Lancastrians, Yorkists and Henry VII, 1399-1509

This option comprises two parts: the Aspects in breadth focus on long-term changes and contextualise the Aspects in depth, which focus in detail on key episodes.
Together, the breadth and depth topics explore the dramatic developments in late medieval England that centred around the personalities and political skills of a series of kings, queens and their powerful subjects, and the impact of these developments on the kingdom. Within the primarily political focus on the nature of kingship and authority in England, this option also explores the wider social and economic  contexts of political struggle.

Entry requirements

A minimum of 2 grade Bs and 4 grade Cs at GCSE including GCSE English Language (grade 4). Students should also achieve a grade B in either English Language (grade 5), History or Religious Studies.


Both Modern and Late Medieval and Early Modern History use the Edexcel specification. They cannot be taken together. They are both assessed as follows:

Year 1

Unit 1 - An examination of 1 hour 20 minutes
Unit 2 - An examination of 1 hour 20 minutes

Year 2

Unit 3 - An examination of 2 hours
Unit 4 - Coursework

Future opportunities

You should consider studying A Level History if you intend to take a degree in History or a closely related subject such as politics or follow a course in higher education for which history is a suitable preparation (such as law). Past students have gone on to careers in law, teaching, business and politics.

Further information

This course works well with English courses, Archaeology, Law, Sociology and Politics.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 19 October 2016
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