Accessibility links

HISTORY AS/A LEVEL at Beacon Academy (Beacon Community College)

Course description

“We cannot understand ourselves if we do not know about our past”.  Through AS and A level History students acquire a deep knowledge and understanding of some of the most significant individuals, regimes and political ideologies of the Twentieth century as well as a broader sense of change and continuity over time.  Analytical and inquiry skills are developed and differing interpretations of historical problems are examined

Course content

Unit 1: In search of the American Dream: the USA, c1917-96


We will study changes in America in this time, covering themes such as the changing political environment, the quest for civil rights, society and culture in change and the changing quality of life. Topics covered will include:


  • Changes in presidency, changing styles of presidential leadership and a decline in confidence 1933-1980
  • Influences on the political landscape – the New Deal, Red Scares and Liberal counter-culture
  • The impact of war on domestic politics
  • Black American civil rights. Life in the South and the impact of northern migration, the emergence of Black Power
  • The search for minrotiy rights 1960-80, including the emergence of Native and Hispanic American campaigns and the gay rights movement
  • The changing position of women through the Roaring Twenties up to the emergence of the women’s liberation movement
  • The impact of immigration
  • The influence of popular culture and news media: the impact of cinema, popular music and radio
  • The economic environment, boom, bust and recovery
  • Leisure and travel, the growth in spectator sports and increased leisure time

We will also study in more depth historical interpretations

  • The impact of the Reagan presidency (1981-1989) on the USA      
  • Assessment will be in the form of one exam, taken at the end of year 13, lasting 2 hours 15 minutes. It counts for 30% of the total A-Level
  •   Unit 2: India, c1914-48: the road to independence


    • The First World War and its impact on British India, 1914-20
    • Changing political relationships, 1920-30; Gandhi and civil disobedience, The Muslim League and the British response
    • Consultation and confrontation, 1930-1942
    • The road to independence, 1942-48
  • Assessment will be in the form of one exam, taken at the end of year 13, lasting 1 hour 30 minutes. It counts for 20% of the total A-Level.        

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

This course is open to all students who are considering advanced level courses.  You do not have to have taken History GCSE, although if you have not, a strong B or above in English will be required. When students have studied History at GCSE, the normal requirement is a B grade

Future opportunities


Russell group universities continue to see History as a facilitating subject – one which gives the most options when applying to study as an undergraduate.

Apart from being interesting, History is very useful.  History can give you the skills most employers want-whatever the job you have in mind.  A Level History are well respected academic qualifications that can contribute to a wide range of higher education courses, particularly degrees in Social Sciences such as Law, Psychology, Politics or International Relations.  The analytical skills developed through History are invaluable for many careers, for example journalism, teaching and the legal profession.



Further information

Please note that units are subject to change given the new A-Level specifications

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Beacon Academy (Beacon Community College) directly.

Last updated date: 08 October 2015
Provider logo

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Course code: Hi