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History A-Level at Reading School

Course description

The A level History course is centred on the study of English and European History from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries, following the AQA specification – AS 1041 and A2 2041. Although some potential students worry that this will represent a major change from the 20th century work done at GCSE, it is rare for anyone who pursues the course to regret the period chosen for the syllabus.

Course content

The two AS-level modules (The Reformation In Europe c. 1500-1564 and The Church In England And The Struggle For Supremacy 1529-1547) will be taken at the end of Year 12. Those who intend to take the full A-level course will take the additional two A-level modules (The Triumph Of Elizabeth: Britain 1547-1603, and the Historical Enquiry module) in their final year. The Historical Enquiry module is the coursework element of the specification which will involve students in producing an extended essay on a topic of their own choice from any period of about 3,500 words in length. It is possible for those who have not taken History at GCSE to join the A- level course. Most of the work will depend on students developing their research and writing skills, reinforcing class notes with their own reading and coming to lessons with their own ideas. History A-level is still perceived as being a strongly rigorous subject and is a highly regarded qualification for courses at degree level as well as a wide variety of professions.

Entry requirements

GCSE Grade B in History is desirable but not essential. In the absence of History GCSE, English GCSE at grade B or Classical Civilisation at grade B is a requirement.


Students will also be required to complete an Historical enquiry module in the second year which is the coursework element of the specification and will involve students producing an extended essay on a topic of their own words in length. This will be a chance for students to further explore any period they have a passion for and is a wonderful stepping stone to the demands of higher education.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Reading School directly.

Last updated date: 06 September 2016

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years