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The Weston Road Academy History A Level AQA (Block E) at The Stafford Partnership

Course description

Our A-level History course centres on two tumultuous periods, which have shaped the course of world history. First, we examine the dramatic events of seventeenth century Britain in which two revolutions occurred and established the blueprint for parliamentary democracy. Second, we investigate the events of the French Revolution and the emergence of such modern-day themes as liberty and nationalism. In both components you will see there are common factors at work in creating revolutions and witness the powerful forces they unleash. In studying both components, you will learn to work with primary evidence and form coherent and persuasive arguments. In Year 13 you will undertake a personal investigation which will also develop your research skills.

Course content

Year 12 topics

Component 1D: Stuart Britain and the crisis of monarchy, 1603-1702

Part 1: Absolutism challenged: Britain 1603-1649

This unit examines the huge changes which took place in Britain during the seventeenth century. You will learn about the characters of James I and Charles I and the problems they faced and how they tried to solve these problems. In particular, you will look at their financial problems, their growing disagreements with Parliament, wars and the breakdown of Charles I’s relationship with Parliament. You will also study the events of the two Civil Wars, which led ultimately to the execution of the King.

Component 2H: France in Revolution, 1774-1815

Part 1: the end of Absolutism and the French Revolution, 1774-1795

This unit explores the tumultuous years of the French Revolution that transformed France and left a political and ideological legacy that still affects the world today. The unit focuses on the origins and onset of the French revolution and the collapse of absolute monarchy. You will discover how the attempts to create a constitutional monarchy failed and France descended into bloodshed and fear in the period known as “the Terror”. Finally, you will see how conservative forces attempted to regain control of the revolution and created the Directory, which was designed to bring stability after the horrors of the Terror.

Year 13 topics

Component 1D: Stuart Britain and the crisis of monarchy, 1603-1702

Part 2: Monarchy restored and restrained: Britain 1649-1702

This section of the course examines the rule of Oliver Cromwell—England’s only military dictator and the man who banned Christmas! You will also study some of the different social changes sweeping through Britain at this time such as the growth in population, the treatment of beggars and vagrants, religious changes, the development of strange new ideas by groups such as the Levellers, the Ranters and the Diggers. You will also discover some of the fascinating events surrounding the Glorious Revolution and how this event has shaped the system of government we have today.

Component 2H: France in Revolution, 1774-1815

Part 2: the rise of Napoleon and his impact on France and Europe, 1795-1815

In this section of the course we examine how the Directory failed and opened the door for Napoleon to take power in France. We will look at how he reformed France and then through his military genius, went on to conquer most of Europe. Finally, we will explore why Napoleon’s military successes proved to be short-lived whilst his legacy has achieved greater longevity.


Entry requirements

The standard entry criteria to study in the sixth form is an 9-4 or A*-C in at least seven different subjects, including mathematics which would usually be at grade 4 or above (equivalent to grade C in previous years).


To study other subjects already taken at GCSE you must achieve  at least a grade 5 or C grade or above in that subject.


Assessment Objectives:

AO1 Demonstrate, organise and communicate knowledge and understanding to analyse and evaluate the key features related to the periods studied, making substantiated judgements and exploring concepts, as relevant, of cause, consequence, change, continuity, similarity, difference and significance.

AO2 Analyse and evaluate appropriate source material, primary and/or contemporary to the period, within its historical context.

AO3 Analyse and evaluate, in relation to the historical context, different ways in which aspects of the past have been interpreted.

Financial information


Future opportunities

  • Progress to degree level History (or other degrees with related skills, e.g. law, classical studies).
  • ‘The Top 20 Universities in Britain recommend it’ (source: The Times).
  • Skills that History students develop:

The ability to analyse; make informed criticisms; gain fluent oral &written skills; listen and work withothers; self-reliance; organisation;develop and justify your own opinion

  • More than ever before, employers are keen to meet school leavers who have analytical and evaluative minds. These qualities, combined with good literacy skills, cannot fail to impress on application forms and at interview whether applying for jobs aslawyers, managers, journalists or many other occupations

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Stafford Partnership directly.

Last updated date: 19 December 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Course code: 12EWrHI1