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History at Holyhead

Course description

Course Overview

History students are not just limited to “becoming another History teacher” (unless they want to of course!). Nor are they destined to gather dust in a museum or library (again unless they want to!). It’s a universally respected subject because of the challenge it presents, but the challenge is the stimulation.

A well rounded education includes an understanding of our past, which continues to inform the present and our future, and the units available to study in this qualification combine to provide you with an appreciation of this. By focusing on the history of modern Britain and the USA we can address social, cultural and political themes that have an impact on our lives and the modern world we live in, especially in light of current political debates under a Conservative government where echoes of the Thatcher years still remain strong.

History is about controversy, and there is plenty of that in the topics you’ll cover, so if you enjoy debate and justifying your opinions then you’ll find plenty to get your teeth into over the two years!

Skills Needed

History is a subject that requires the application of real world skills, not just the retention of knowledge.

You have to become skilled at asking probing questions, sometimes awkward questions; you have learned not to take everything at face value.

You have to develop empathy and understanding of the actions and achievements of others; you have to be prepared to put your case and argue it well; you have to use evidence to draw conclusions and make judgments.

These skills are highly desirable in many different careers and A-Level History is excellent training for any career where you have to use evidence or make decisions, especially where those decisions affect other people.

Course content

Year 1

Unit 1H - Britain Transformed 1918-1997 (Core Sections = A changing political and economic environment 1918-79; The creation of the welfare state 1918-79; Society in transition 1918-79; Changing quality of life 1918-79: Historical Interpretation theme = What impact did Thatcher’s governments (1979–90) have on Britain, 1979–97?

Unit 2H - The USA, 1955-92: Conformity & Challenge (Affluence and Conformity 1955-63; Protest and Reaction 1963-72; Social and Political Change 1973-1980; Republican Dominance and its Opponents 1981-92)

Year 2
Unit 3 - The British Experience of Warfare, 1790-1918 (Aspects in breadth = Changes in organising the military; Changes in the role of people: Aspects in depth = The British and French wars 1793-1815; The Crimean War 1854-1856; The Boer War 1899-1902 & The First World War 1914-1918)
Unit 4 - Coursework: Historical Controversy 

Entry requirements

A minimum of 5 A*-C grades at GCSE including English and Maths

Grade B in GCSE History or a Grade B in GCSE English if History was not studied.



Year 1

Unit 1H: 2 hour 15 minutes written examination: Two extended written essays from a choice of four (20 marks each) and an interpretation based question on Thatcher's government based around two source extracts (20 marks) - Total = 60 marks

Unit 2H: 1 hour 30 minutes written examination: A two part source question (Part a = 8 marks; Part b = 12 marks; Total = 20 marks) and one extended written essay from a choice of three (20 marks) - Total = 40 marks

Year 2
Unit 3: 2 hour 15 minutes written examination
(30% of the total A Level qualification)
Unit 4: Coursework (20% written assignment to be internally marked)

Further information

Enrichment Opportunties

History students will have the chance to benefit from A Level ‘Study Days’ and master classes at the National Army Museum, Imperial War Museum and at UoB.

For the new specification there is also the potential for a residential study visit to either France/Belgium or the USA to support work on Units 3 or 2.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 09 November 2015
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