Accessibility links

History at St Mary's Catholic High School

Course description

At AS students study Britain and Ireland 1867 - 1922. This unit considers the move from terrorism to democracy and the changing relationship between the two countries. The unit requires students to apply their knowledge to interpret a range of historical sources. Students will also study key events in Russia from 1881 - 1953. They will look at Stalin’s rule as well as challenges to the Government which occurred and the emergence of Russia as a superpower.

At A2 students undertake an internally assessed dissertation. This unit currently investigates American history from 1877-1981. Students are required to grasp the key changes and characters from a period of 100 years, including the Civil Rights period but also the changes brought about in the early 20th century. The final examined unit is based around controversial issues in German history 1900-45. The unit challenges students to critically analyse interpretations of this period and to assess the significance of events, individuals, ideas and attitudes. Key
questions include “How popular was the Nazi regime?” and “Was the First World War a defensive war?”

History teachers clearly recognise that individual students learn in different ways and so it is departmental policy to use a variety of teaching and learning styles to meet the needs of all students.

Entry requirements

For AS study you will need a minimum of 4 GCSEs at grade B with a minimum of one other GCSE grade C or above.  You must have GCSE Maths and English at a grade C or above.  We would expect you to have at least a GCSE  grade B in the subject you wish to study or a closely related discipline.


The dissertation is a single essay in two parts with a maximum of 4000 words for the two parts together. It is an opportunity for students to explore issues, read and develop their responses independently, but within a taught and guided context. It is intended to be a stepping stone towards independent study at University. The final
Germany unit requires students to answer two questions, one based on an overall study of the period and the second dealing with an associated controversy.
Students study two topics at AS with a 1 hour 20 minute examination paper for both. The examination for the British unit requires candidates to answer two source based questions analysing, cross-referencing and evaluating source material. The Russia unit requires candidates to answer two essay questions where they will present historical explanations and assess their significance in the context of events, individuals’ ideas, attitudes and beliefs.

Financial information

St. Mary’s Sixth Form has a bursary scheme that supports students, who meet eligibility criteria, with the cost of attending college.

The bursary scheme is made up of 2 parts - a payment of £1,200 to a small group of the most vulnerable and a discretionary fund for schools to distribute. The most vulnerable are classified as:

• young people in care;

• care leavers;

• young people in receipt of Income Support;

• disabled young people in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) who are also in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

The discretionary element can be accessed via an application form and students should contact the Sixth Form office for further details. The College will consider every request for financial assistance and will endeavour to target the fund to help those students in greatest need

Future opportunities

History is a subject which prepares you for many aspects of life whether at university or in the world of work.  History is primarily a subject based on effective communication skills and we endeavour to develop these skills throughout the two years.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
Provider logo

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years