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History A Level at Mount Grace School

Course description

You will be gaining a broad and deep understanding of some of the key events in world history. This will include studying some of the significant changes and iconic people that helped to shape modern America. This will be taught alongside an in depth look at India’s struggle for independence in the mid- 20th century. The second year combines the skills gained in year 1 by following a 150 year period looking at themes as well as key events. The final element of the A Level allows you to evaluate the interpretations of three historians on a topic chosen by the History Department.

Course content

Paper 1: In Search of the American Dream: The USA circa 1917-96 (Option 1F) Breadth study and interpretations. 60% of the total qualification. Students will learn about the dramatic political, economic and social transformation of the USA in the twentieth century, an era that saw the USA challenged by the consequences of political, economic and social inequalities at home and of its involvement in international conflict. The focus of study is on developments and changes over a broad timescale and so the content is presented as themes spanning a significant duration: 1917-80. This option also contains a study in depth of historical interpretations on a broad question, which is contextualised by, and runs on from, the themes: what impact the Reagan presidency had on the USA in the years 1981–96.

Paper 2: India, c1914–48: the road to independence (Option 2F1) Depth Study. 40% of the total qualification. You will be developing an understanding of how India came to be the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of the British Empire. The unit will focus mainly on the first half of the 20th century and the growing tensions between the Indians and the British government. You will develop an in depth understanding of the growth of nationalism as a result of key events such as World War One, the Amritsar Massacre, Civil disobedience and the growth of communal violence. As well as these events you will explore the tensions and changing dynamics between key Indian leaders such as Gandhi and representatives of the British government.

Paper 3: Themes in breadth with aspects in depth. 30% of the total qualification

  • Breadth: Students focus on developments and changes over an extended timescale of at least 100 years. As well as understanding the content, students will need to develop the skills needed to be able to answer questions that target understanding of long-term changes.
  • Depth: Students will develop the skills needed to be able to answer questions that target knowledge and understanding of the period and questions that target the ability to analyse and evaluate sources.

Coursework: 20% of the total qualification. Students complete a single assignment on a question set by the centre. The assignment will assess the ability to carry out a historical enquiry, analysing and evaluating historical interpretations, and organising and communicating the findings (AO1/AO3).

Entry requirements

Candidates who wish to study History require a minimum of Grade B in GCSE History and English Language.


Papers 1-3 are written papers and externally assessed, and the coursework is internally assessed and externally moderated.

In Search of the American Dream: 2 hours 15 minutes The Road to Independence: 1 hour 30 minutes.

Future opportunities

History is one of the most universally accepted and highly regarded qualifications for entry to Higher Education. It forms a basis for further specialist study of different historical knowledge and skills at degree level. Qualifications in History can lead to a variety of careers in law, journalism, archaeology, media work, advertising, business, publishing, management and teaching.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 19 September 2016
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Key information

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