Accessibility links

History AS/A Level at Kennet School

Course description

History is fascinating; it allows us to look at the past, which helps us to understand the present. It is a stimulating intellectual challenge and is enjoyed by the students who choose it. We study History in a range of periods and countries to provide students with a broader understanding of this subject. You will be expected to research and present findings, debate and discuss ideas and make notes. There is no ‘right’ answer as such at this level, and you will be expected to reach reasoned judgements which you can justify and defend verbally and on paper. You will be prepared to answer questions using sources from the time and from historians who have subsequently discussed ideas. You will be expected to produce extended essay answers throughout the two years of study.

Course content

In Year 12 there will be two areas of focus, looking at different historical skills, explanation and use of evidence. The first area will be a ‘Depth Study’ which looks at a relatively short period of history in a lot of detail; students will study Revolution and Dictatorship in Russia and the Soviet Union between 1917 and 1929. The second area is a ‘Breadth Study’ looking at the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII. The Year 13 part of the course will carry on with the themes started at AS by looking into the rule of Stalin up to his death for the first focus and the reigns of Edward VI, Mary and Elizabeth I for the second. Please note that we have deliberately chosen a course where the A level follows on from the Year 12 AS course. In addition, Year 13 students will be required to study for their own Historical Investigation which is a piece of writing of between 3000 and 3500 words on a study of the Civil Rights Movement in the USA from 1865-1975.

Entry requirements

Grade B in GCSE History (or related subject) and grade 5 in English. You need to be prepared to read widely and work hard


In Year 12 there are two examinations each lasting 1 hour 30 minutes. In Year 13 there are two examinations, each lasting 2 hours 30 minutes plus a Historical Investigation (on American Civil Rights) of approximately 3000 words which accounts for 20% of the A level. This final piece of work is marked by the teachers and moderated by AQA

Future opportunities

History can lead to practically anything. It is not essentially a vocational subject but its skills are valued in such university courses as journalism, law, nursing or medicine as well as the more obvious history, politics and social sciences. It is similarly appealing to employers from the worlds of finance, management and science.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 10 October 2017

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 to 2 Years