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History A Level at Coulsdon Sixth Form College

Course description

History – Communism in the 20th Century (Russia 1917 - 1991 and China 1949 - 1976), British History c. 1780 to 1928 and coursework on Stalin and the purges.

Students will study Democracy, Autocracy and Dictatorship in Russia (1917 - 1991) and China (1949 - 1976).

In the second year students will study British History (Protest, Agitation and Parliamentary Reform) c. 1780 - 1928 for Paper 3 and will undertake a coursework assignment for Paper 4 of 3,000 - 4,000 words.  This will require students to analyse the ways in which historians' interpretations of events differ, and to evaluate which interpretation they find most persuasive.

What goes well with this course?

The obvious links are the other Humanities and Social Science Subjects such as:

  • Politics
  • English
  • Sociology
  • Law
  • Geography
  • Economics

History is an ideal combination with almost any other subject.

Course content

All Lower Sixth students will pursue the A Level course which in the first year is comprised of 2 papers with each paper focussed on the history of a single country.  In the second year all students will study a British History paper based on 'Protest, Agitation and Parliamentary Reform in Britain, c. 1780 - 1928' and a coursework assignment (Paper 4), worth 20% of the A Level marks.  This requires students to write a 3,000 - 4,000 word assignment based on historian's interpretations of a historical controversy - Stalin's role in the purges.

Entry requirements

Students wishing to include A Levels in their programme need to have (or expect to achieve) at least five GCSE passes, with at least two at Grade 5 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme. 

In addition, students should meet the following minimum GCSE requirements:  

  • Grade 4 in English Language and Grade 5 in History, or
  • Grade 5 in English Language

Students will enjoy and do well in History if they have a genuine interest in:

  • the world and the history of how it has developed
  • communicating through speech and writing
  • analysing and problem solving based on collecting and assessing evidence
  • planning their own learning
  • working with others and presenting and defending their interpretations and ideas


A Level History is assessed by four papers:

Lower Sixth:

* Paper 1: The history of a specific country in breadth (30%), Russia, 1917 - 1991.

* Paper 2: The history of Mao's China, 1949 - 1976 in depth (20%).

Upper Sixth:

* Paper 3: Protest, Agitation and Parliamentary Reform in Britain, c. 1780 - 1928 in breadth and depth (30%).

* Paper 4: Coursework - evaluating historian's interpretations of a historical controversy - Stalin's role in the purges (20%).

The exam board for this A Level is Pearson Edexcel.

Future opportunities

History is an extremely well respected and valued subject by all employers, businesses and educationalists. Hence History students and graduates are sought after in many walks of life. Areas that particularly attract Historians include Journalism, Law, Business and Professional Management, The Civil Service, Teaching, The Heritage Industry and any profession which requires the ability to analyse and synthesise, write effectively and argue and present a case.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Coulsdon Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 12 October 2017
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