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History A2 level at Gosford Hill School

Course description

Below is outlined the course that the history team wish to study at AS.

Have you ever wondered:

  • How and why Henry VIII managed to get through six wives?
  • Why Elizabeth I never married?
  • How an unknown Welshman become King of England in 1485?
  • Why America has a national holiday on Martin Luther King’s birthday?
  • Why America became embroiled in the Vietnam War – a war they couldn’t possibly win?

Through History A Level at Gosford Hill you will examine Britain’s past by studying the Tudors and the impact that they had on our society today. The study of America will give you the opportunity to assess its power and influence on the global stage in the twentieth century and how it managed its problems at home. The historical enquiry will allow you to investigate a topic of your choice in detail. You will work independently to research the key issues, read the historiography and complete an essay in response to your question. This is the closest you will get to studying History at degree level.

Course content

In Year 12, you will study elements from these topics:

Breadth Study

The Tudors, England 1485-1603

Depth Study

Unit 2Q The American Dream: Reality and Illusion, 1945-1980

In Year 13, you will study the rest of the course from these topics, and also complete an independent essay enquiry, enabling you to develop research skills useful for university.

Breadth Study

The Tudors, England 1485-1603

Depth Study

Unit 2Q The American Dream: Reality and Illusion, 1945-1980

Historical Enquiry

Coursework based on a topic of your choice and written up as a long essay

Entry requirements

It is not a prerequisite that you have studied History at GCSE, but if the GCSE was completed the pass would need to be at least a C grade. You will need to have achieved at least a B in English Literature at GCSE to study A Level History, this is because the subject is based on writing detailed essays with a high standard of written English, as well as demonstrating the ability to interpret texts and various historical opinions.


As it stands at the moment, the assessment for two units will be in the form of two written exams each of 2 ½ hours duration taken at the end of Year 13. Each exam is worth 40% of the final grade.

The assessment for the Historical Enquiry is a 3000-3500 word essay submitted at some point in Year 13 and marked by teachers. This is worth 20% of the final grade.

Future opportunities

Studying history at A Level will develop your skills for your future studies and career choices even if you do not decide to pursue History at university. It will help you to:

  • Argue your position coherently and with evidence to support your views
  • Write logically and with precision to communicate your ideas
  • Read information with a critical eye
  • Work independently

Future degree options might include History, History of Art, Politics, Social Policy, International Relations, Journalism and Media Studies, Sociology, English, Anthropology, Law, Business, Drama and Archaeology.

Popular careers choices for history graduates include journalism, careers in law, teaching, working in local government, accountancy, business, librarian or archivist. Many students choose to combine History A Level with Maths or Physics and so pursue a career in science.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 26 October 2016
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years