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History AS A2 at The Duston School

Course description

What is History? In answer to what is the purpose of History, Jeremy Black sums it up as: `History connects us with our past. History also allows us to peer into the future by providing precedents for contemporary action, forewarning against repetition of past mistakes`.

Course content

Whether you are studying your ancestors, sport, science or international politics, history is an important element of that study. It provides a basis for decision making and the skills to make those decisions. History allows students to develop skills in research, summation, debate and presentation. It gives students the confidence to articulate an argument and defend their views effectively.

History is enjoyable because it allows the student to understand the world in which they live. Life is complex and History sheds light on the dark.

The History units allow students to understand the development of ideas and concepts which allows them to understand what is happening in the contemporary world. As examples communism, capitalism, fascism are as relevant today as they were 70 years ago and to understand their origins and consequences makes the world today more understandable. It also allows students to make an effective response to the key questions that affect our future, which gives them a great sense of achievement.

The skills that are taught in the History unit allow students to progress personally and in the academic field. The ability to understand an argument and articulate an effective response is key to history at A Level but is also important in life. History gives the student confidence and makes them more secure in their judgements. This is an enjoyable process of intellectual and personal development.

As Jimmy says `History rocks`.

Entry requirements

For entry to History at `A` Level 4 GCSEs grade C are required (one of which should be Humanities). Good literacy skills are also important.


History assessment is exam based. Over the two years of the A Level students take six modules, three at AS and three as A2:


  • Unit 1 - Russia in Revolution, 1905-17
  • Unit 2 - Italy - the rise of Fascism 1918-25
  • Unit 3 - Promise and Performance - FDR and The New Deal in the USA


  • Unit 4 - Britain at War 1939-45
  • Unit 5 - Medicine in Britain in the 20th Century, c 1890-1990
  • Unit 6 - Hitler and the Nazi State: Power and Control, 1933-45

Future opportunities

What does History lead to?

  • It can lead to a lifelong interest in History.
  • On a more concrete level History A Level can lead to university, not only to do History but other courses.
  • History is recognised as a useful background to Archaeology, Law, English, Business and other courses.
  • It is also a useful supplementary to science courses to show a breadth of learning at AS.
  • A History `A` Level is also recognised by employers as an academic subject which displays various skills such as an ability to understand and apply large amounts of information to a specific task.

Further information

For further details please contact Mr M Exley or Mr S Elliott.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Duston School directly.

Last updated date: 26 May 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Unknown