Accessibility links

History A Level at Caistor Grammar School

Course description

Students will study an A level course which will involve a British and a European topic both in Year 12 and in Year 13. Students study a breadth topic on Britain 1783‐1885 and a depth study on Russia from 1917‐53, leading to exams at the end of Year 13 in both topics, where each 2.5 hour paper is worth 40% of the A level mark. They will also complete a piece of coursework in Year 13 which will be around 3500 words in length. This will count for 20% of the A level mark.

Course content

Britain 1783‐1885

This breadth study involves an investigation into the changes which took place in Britain during the long nineteenth century. We will explore the reforms brought about by Prime Ministers such as Pitt, Liverpool, Peel, Gladstone and Disraeli in the wake of critical developments such as the Napoleonic Wars and the Irish Famine. We will be exploring the main changes social and political changes, such as the Great Reform Act, the end of slavery in the British Empire, and the introduction of a state system of education in the 1870s. Students will also examine the major economic features of the period, and explore the progress that was made in this area by 1885, as well as identifying the areas of the economy which were still weak and underdeveloped. The 2.5 hour examination will require students to have a knowledge of change and continuity in the period, and will also involve assessing the validity of a range of interpretations on a particular theme.

Russia 1917‐1953

This depth study will investigate Russia in a time of chaos and terror. Students will begin by exploring the reasons for and the progress of the Russian revolutions of 1917, and will then go on to see how the country emerged in the wake of such a dramatic transformation. The Civil War, and Lenin’s economic policies, will be key features of the course, along with Stalin’s rise to power after Lenin’s death. Students will then see how Stalin consolidated his position and the impact he had on the Soviet Union. His economic revolution, the ways he eliminated opposition, and his response to the outbreak of war in 1941 will be particular areas of focus. The 2.5 hour examination will require students to have an in‐depth knowledge of the period, and will also involve assessing the value of a range of sources on a particular theme.


Students will complete a piece of coursework in Year 13 which will explore Russia from 1741‐ 1861. They will choose a question which will focus on the reasons why the Tsars chose to implement reforms, the nature of the changes or the extent of stability that they brought to Russia during the period.

Entry requirements

History students are expected to read widely and lists of suitable material, as well as copies in the library, will be made available to them throughout the course. They will need to contribute to discussions in class, and make their own notes on the topics covered in lessons.

Essays and source evaluation questions will be set regularly, which will give them practice for their examinations, and help them to hone their research skills. Enthusiasm and effort are highly rewarded in this subject and will help students to achieve good grades in their examinations. No prior study of History is needed, although the skills acquired at GCSE will be very useful. For those who have taken History at GCSE, a minimum grade 6 is needed. For those students who have not taken GCSE history, a minimum grade 6 in English Language or English Literature is required.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 23 November 2017

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years