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History at Downham Market Academy

Course description

History equips you with a set of transferable skills and qualities that will help you in higher education, the world of work and life in general. You will be able to research information, analyse your findings and present an effective and balanced argument. It also provides you with a large serving of healthy scepticism.

Historians take nothing at face value and always require proof. In addition to these admirable traits, you will also be confident in the knowledge that you are studying a discipline that is held in the highest regard by universities, academics and employers.

In short, History is rigorous, respected and really, really interesting

Course content

Paper 1: Breadth study with interpretations - Germany and West Germany, 1918 – 89

  • 30% A level
  • Exam - 2 hours 15 minutes
  • one breadth essay one breadth essay one interpretations question

This option is a study in breadth about the key political changes experienced in a unified Germany from 1918, and then West Germany after the Second World War, and the impact o f these changes on German economic, social and cultural developments.

The option is divided into the following four themes:

Theme 1: Political and governmental change, 1918 – 89

Theme 2: Opposition, control and consent, 1918 – 89

Theme 3: Economic development and policies, 1918 – 89

Theme 4: Aspects of life in Germany and West Germany, 1918 – 89 The historical interpretations focus is: How far was Hitler’s foreign policy responsible for the Second World War?

Paper 2: Depth study - The rise and fall of fascism in Italy, c1911 – 46

  • 20% A level / 40% AS Exam 1 hour 30 minutes
  • one source question one depth essay

This option is a study of Italian history in the years c1911 – 46; turbulent years that saw the collapse of the liberal state, the creation of a fasci st dictatorship and a return to democracy in the aftermath of the Second World War.

The option is divided into the following four topics:

Topic 1. The liberal state, c1911 – 18

Topic 2. The rise of Mussolini and the creation of a fascist dictatorship, 1919 – 26

Topic 3. The fascist state, 1925 – 40

Topic 4. Challenges to, and the fall of, the fascist state, c1935 – 46 In the second year of A - level you will study a further two units as outlined below.

Paper 3: Themes in breadth with aspects in depth - Protest, agitation and parliamentary reform in Britain, c1780 – 1928

  • 30% A level Exam - 2 hours 15 minutes
  • one source question one depth essay one breadth essay
  • Aspects in breadth: changes in representation in England, c1780 – 1928


1. Reform of parliament

2. Changing influences in parliament: the impact of parliamentary reform

Aspects in depth: mass protest and agitation

Key topics:

1. Radical reformers, c1790 – 1819

2. Chartism, c1838 – c1850

3. Contagious Diseases Acts and the campaign for their repeal, 1862 – 86

4. The Women’s Social and Political Union, 1903 – 14

5. Trades union militancy, 1917 – 27

Coursework 20% A level You will complete an independently researched enquiry on historical interpretations and produce a 3000 - 4000 word essay

Entry requirements

It is useful, but not essential to have studied History at GCSE, but what is vital for success is a genuine interest in the subject. We will be looking for a C grade or above in History at GCSE, or f or anyone who has not taken the subject at GCSE, a C grade in English.

Future opportunities

Qualifications in History can lead to a wide variety of careers including banking, business, journalism, law, the media, politics and teaching.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 09 October 2017

Key information

  • Start date: Next January