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History A Level at Truro and Penwith College

Course description

At Truro College, we have developed two exciting and thought provoking courses to choose from. During the two years you will either study Modern or Medieval History. In Modern, you will study the British Empire between 1857 and 1967. How did Britain come to assume a vast Empire upon which the sun never set? Why, having amassed such a vast Empire, did Britain relinquish much of it in a 20-year period after the end of World War Two? The rise and fall of the British Empire provides an interesting contrast to the other examined module – the rise and fall of Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1945.

The final component of the History A Level comprises an historical investigation, looking at the history of the USA from 1754 to 1865, during which the USA won its freedom from the British – ending Britain’s first empire – and then went on to descend into Civil War as the new nation attempted to define its political identity.

For the Medieval course, you will study the Crusades from 1071 to 1149 and the Angevin kings – a tumultuous period during which the authority of the monarch was challenged by Barons and Church alike. The third component of the Medieval course looks at Tudor England’s emergence as a modern nation state.

Course content

EITHER: Modern World History

AS Level (Year 1)

  • Component 1: The British Empire, c1857-1914.
  • Component 2: Democracy and Nazism: Germany, 1918-1933.

 

A Level (Year 2)

Component 1: The British Empire c1857-1967. You will study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the following key questions: Why did the British Empire grow and contract? What influenced imperial policy? What part did economic factors play in the development of the British Empire? How did the Empire influence British attitudes and culture? How did the indigenous peoples respond to British rule? How important was the role of key individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments?


Component 2: Democracy and Nazism: Germany, 1918-1945. You will study in depth a period of German history during which a newly developed democratic form of government gave way to a dictatorial Nazi regime. It explores political concepts such as 'right' and 'left', nationalism and liberalism as well as ideological concepts such as racialism, anti-Semitism and Social Darwinism. It also encourages reflection on how governments work and the problems of democratic states as well as consideration of what creates and sustains a dictatorship.

Component 3 (Historical Investigation) USA, 1754-1865. You will study in breadth and depth the years in which thirteen American colonies chose to sever their links with Great Britain and thus found the USA. This study explores the concepts of imperialism, mercantilism and legitimate government and encourages students to reflect upon the interplay of forces from below and above, the importance of ideology and the economy in political development and the issues facing those who attempt to challenge an established authority. You will go on to study another period of major change in American history, which saw the disintegration of the country into Civil War, demanding a subsequent reconstruction. It explores concepts such as political authority, abolitionism and social justice. It also encourages students to consider what creates social tension and harmony, the idea of nationhood and the issues surrounding political compromise.

OR: Medieval and Early Modern British and European History

 

AS Level (Year 1)

Component 1: The Age of the Crusades, c1071–1149

Component 2: Royal Authority and the Angevin Kings, 1154–1189

 

A Level (Year 2)

Component 1: The Age of the Crusades, c1071–1204. You will study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the following key questions: What were the motives of the crusaders and the counter-crusaders? What problems faced the states in Outremer and how successfully were these problems addressed? How important were faith and ideas for Christians and Muslims? What was the impact of the crusades on the Muslim Near East? How did the Byzantine Empire, Outremer and the Latin West change and what influenced relations between them? How important was the role of key individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments?


Component 2: Royal Authority and the Angevin Kings, 1154–1216. You will study in depth a period of turbulence in British history, during which the authority of the monarch was questioned and the relationship between Church, State and the baronage was readjusted. It develops concepts such as authority, dynastic ambition and rebellion and encourages students to reflect on issues such as territorial integrity and what makes a ‘state’.

Component 3: (Historical Investigation) Tudor England, 1485-1603. You will study in breadth and depth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the following key questions: How effectively did the Tudors restore and develop the powers of the monarchy? In what ways and how effectively was England governed during this period? How did relations with foreign powers change and how was the succession secured? How did English society and economy change and with what effects? How far did intellectual and religious ideas change and develop and with what effects? How important was the role of key individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments?

Entry requirements

History is available to students who have already studied the subject up to GCSE whatever the specification, as well as students with no previous experience of the study of History at GCSE. Success in History requires a good standard of written work and we would expect students to have passed GCSE English Literature at grade B or above. Students also need to be highly motivated and capable of independent research and reading.

Assessment

You will complete an AS qualification in History based on the modules covered in Year 1. Both years are assessed purely by formal written essays, with examinations assessing two components at AS and A Level and one component assessed by coursework at A Level.

At A Level, components 1 and 2 are examined by two 2.5 hour exams. Each of these exams is worth 40% of the A Level.

The Historical Investigation (component 3) comprises an essay of 3000-3500 words. It is internally assessed and externally moderated. The Historical Investigation is worth 20% of the A Level.

Future opportunities

When you successfully complete the assessment for AS Level in the first year you may progress onto A Level in the second year.

An A Level qualification in History is a popular and highly regarded qualification by both Higher Education establishments and employers. History students from Truro have gone on to a wide variety of degrees at university. As History is of general educational value, students of History gain access to a wide variety of careers including business, law, marketing, media, politics and the retail trades; as well as career pathways specifically involving historical skills, e.g. archaeologist, archivist, curator and teacher.

Further information

All textbooks are provided by the College. You will be able to participate in trips to enhance your wider knowledge of the periods investigated. To support the Modern A Level, we are offering a residential trip to either the USA or Germany; for the Medieval A Level, we are offering a residential trip to Cyprus; we are also offering a combined residential trip to London.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Truro and Penwith College directly.

Last updated date: 15 June 2016

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