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History A Level (Distance Learning) at National Extension College *Fees Payable*

Course description



The study of history is a fascinating and rewarding pursuit, leading to a greater understanding not just of our past but also of how we came to be where we are in the present. Our home study A level course focuses on a number of key times from British and European history, looking at topics including the growth of nationalism, changes to Germany in the lead-up to the outbreak of war, and the relationship between Britain and Ireland in the 19th and early 20th centuries. You’ll learn not just about the events that have shaped the world we live in, but also the methods used to analyse events, evaluate evidence and communicate complex arguments effectively. The skills you develop studying history at A level will come in useful when studying practically any subject at degree level, and this course will serve as a fascinating insight into the past of Britain and Europe even if simply studied for leisure. 


You should allow for between 250 and 300 hours' study time, plus additional time for completing assignments. You will have tutor support for a period of up to 18 months from the date of enrolment.

Course content

Unit 1: Historical theme in breadth (Option F: The expansion and challenge of nationalism)

  • Part 1 (F2): The unification of Germany 1848–90
  • German unification: background 1848–62
  • Bismarck and the start of German unification 1862–67
  • Bismarck and the consolidation of the German Empire 1867–78
  • Bismarck and the consolidation of the German Empire 1879–90
  • Part 2 (F7): From Second Reich to Third Reich: Germany 1918–45
  • The Weimar Republic: threats and crises 1918–23
  • The Weimar Republic: the golden age 1924–29
  • Democracy to presidential government 1929–32
  • Presidential government to Nazi dictatorship 1932–34
  • The Third Reich 1933–45: (1) Social and economic life
  • The Third Reich 1933–45: (2) Racism and war

Unit 2: British history depth study (Option D: The British Empire challenged)

  • D1: Britain and Ireland, 1867–1922
  • Nationalist challenge and Gladstone's mission 1867–74
  • Nationalist developments and Gladstone's mission 1874–85
  • Home rule v unionism 1886–93
  • Killing home rule by kindness 1886–1905
  • Britain and Ireland 1906–12: Home rule at last?
  • The triumph of home rule? 1912–14
  • Rebellion, partition and civil war 1914–21
  • The creation of the Irish free state 1921–22

Unit 3: Depth studies and associated historical controversies (Challenging authority: protest, reform and response in Britain c.1760–1830)

  • Section A: Chronology and key events
  • Society and politics in Great Britain 1760–75
  • The beginnings of the reform movement 1760–85
  • The ideology of revolution and early reactions to the French Revolution 1789–92
  • Radicals and reformers in Britain 1792–1815
  • The repression of radicalism 1792–1815
  • The growth of popular resistance to radicalism c.1790–1815
  • The age of Lord Liverpool 1812–27
  • The coming of parliamentary reform 1820–30
  • Section B: Historical controversies
  • Extra-parliamentary reform protests and conspiracies 1815–20
  • Extra-parliamentary reform protests and conspiracies 1821–30
  • The impact of the Industrial Revolution on the lives of the labouring classes 1780–1830 (1)
  • The impact of the Industrial Revolution on the lives of the labouring classes 1780–1830 (2)

Unit 4: Historical Enquiry (Modern British history: representation and democracy in Britain c.1830–1931)

  • Section A: Overview of key strands
  • The Great Reform Act 1832
  • Developments to the Second Reform Act 1867
  • The Third Reform Act and the approach of democracy 1868-1906
  • Democracy fulfilled 1906-1931
  • The professionalisation of party politics 1830-1885
  • The emergence of people's parties 1885-1931
  • Section B: Setting up the enquiries
  • Preparing for the broad contextual enquiry (Part B)
  • Preparing for the enquiry in depth (Part A)

Entry requirements

A grade C or above in GCSE English or its equivalent is desirable.


This course follows specifications 8HI01 (AS) and 9HI01 (A2) from the awarding organisation Edexcel. Full details of the specifications can be obtained from Edexcel's website.

Three exams: 2hrs (30% of marks), 1hr20m (25% of marks) and 1hr20m (25% of marks)

Six AS assignments, seven A2 assignments
One coursework task (A2) (20% of marks)

Please note that due to upcoming changes the final opportunity to sit exams for this course isSummer 2016. 

Financial information



It’s your choice: pay in full and discount your course fees, or spread the cost with our finance offer. To pay in instalments, you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative examples:

For the full A level
Course fee:   £545
Deposit:  £54.50
Amount of credit:   £490.50
Monthly payment:  £81.75
Duration of agreement:  6 months
Total repayable:  £545
Rate of interest:  0%(fixed)
0% APR representative.  
For AS level or A2 level
Course fee:  £325
Deposit:   £32.50
Amount of credit: £292.50 
Monthly payment:   £48.75
Duration of agreement:  6 months
Total repayable:   £325
Rate of interest:  0% (fixed)
0% APR representative.  
For enrolments in the UK there are no additional postage and packing charges. For enrolments outside of the UK the following postage and packing charges apply:


  • EU – £75 for the first course and £40 for second and subsequent courses
  • Rest of the world – £130 for the first course and £70 for second and subsequent courses

Further information

Essential textbooks


  • Farmer, A., and Stiles, A., Access to History: The Unification of Germany 18151919, 3rd edition, Hodder Education, 2007
  • Layton, G., Access to History: From Second Reich to Third Reich; Germany 19181945, Hodder Education, 2008
  • Collier, M., Edexcel GCE History: Britain and Ireland, 18671922, Heinemann, 2008


  • Evans, E., The Forging of the Modern State: Early Industrial Britain 1783–1870, 3rd edition, Longman, 2001
  • Collier, M. and Rees, R., Edexcel GCE History Coursework Book: Unit 4 Student Book, Pearson Education, 2009


How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact National Extension College *Fees Payable* directly.

Last updated date: 24 July 2019
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Contact details

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    • Course and Fee Enquiries
    • Contact telephone number:
    • 08003892839
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      This means you can study from anywhere!

      Further details of where you can sit any examinations are included in the Assessment section of each course.

      Please note that fees are payable for the National Extension College's courses.