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History A Level at Longsands Academy

Course description

History is about…


  • examining the concepts of power and dictatorship in two countries;

  • developing the skills of analysing sources;

  • developing the skills of formulating coherent historical arguments.


Course content

What will I learn?


There are three components to this new A Level:


Breadth Study – Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855-1964

This component focuses on the nature of Russian government and its impact on the Russian people and society. Students will understand the similarities and differences between the autocratic rule of the Tsars to 1917 and the Communist dictatorship that followed. They will know the main developments and turning points relevant to the theme. This component will be assessed by a written examination (2 hours and 30 minutes) and represents 40% of the A Level.


Key topics:

  • The collapse of Tsarist rule in Russia.
  • The causes and consequences of the October Revolution.
  • The nature and impact of Communist rule in Russia from 1917 to 1964.


Depth Study – The English Revolution, 1625-1660

Students will examine England under James I and then his son Charles I. They will assess reasons for the outbreak of the English Civil War and focus on the events that brought about the interregnum period under Cromwell. Students will also study England under Cromwell before looking at the lead up to the Restoration. This component will be assessed by a written examination (2 hours and 30 minutes) and represents 40% of the A Level.


Key topics:

  • The relationship between the Crown and Parliament.
  • The causes and consequences of the English Civil War.
  • The developments from a Republic to the Restoration.


Historical Investigation – Civil Rights in the USA, 1865-1965

This component focuses on the struggle of African American citizens in the United States to gain equality before the law without regard to ethnic origin. Students should understand the factors which encouraged and discouraged change during this period.. Students will then conduct a personal study of 3000-3500 words based on a topic of their choice from this course. This component represents 20% of the A Level.


Key topics:

  • The role of African Americans in gaining civil rights (eg Booker T Washington, Dubois and Martin Luther King).
  • The roles of Federal (Presidents, Congress and Supreme Court) and State governments in the struggle.
  • The key domestic events of America post the Civil War.


Curriculum enrichment opportunities

The History department seeks to consolidate students’ understanding of these topics through a range of extra-curricular activities. In previous years, trips to Russia (St Petersburg and Moscow) and the USA (New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC) have been offered. The department also arranges conferences for students to attend and visiting lectures from a range of esteemed academics.


Entry requirements

A minimum grade 6 in GCSE History. Students must also have a grade 5 in GCSE Mathematics and English Language.

APS: 5.5

Future opportunities

History A Level equips students well for university, both in terms of History degrees and other subject disciplines, where the skills described above can be translated into a wide range of other subject courses. As History is a widely respected academic subject, it allows for career progression into a broad number of job areas, including journalism, law and management.

Further information

To find out more about this qualification, contact Mr Wayman, Head of Classics, History & Politics at the St. Neots Sixth Form Centre, via

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Longsands Academy directly.

Last updated date: 21 November 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years