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History A Level at The Hayfield School

Course description

“Study History, study History... for in History lie all the secrets of statecraft” Winston Churchill

“Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.” Machiavelli

Course content

Three AQA units taught over two years at A Level. It covers both European and British history. It is envisaged that the majority of pupils will complete the A Level course, however, the option to study the course at AS level exists alongside those who are studying the full A Level.


Entry requirements

Unit 1F: Democracy, Empire and War: Britain, c.1851-1964 – a breadth study of Britain when it was at its zenith in terms of global political and economic power, the impact of the World Wars, as well as of the reforms that saw the development of the welfare state and a fairer society for all.

Unit 2O: Revolution and Dictatorship: Russia and the Rise of Stalin, 1917-1953 – a depth study of the violent and bloody transformation of Russia from monarchy to communist dictatorship, the subsequent transformation of this sleeping giant into a nuclear equipped superpower and the beginnings of its troubled relations with the West.

Unit 3B: Historical Investigation (full A level only) – a personal study based on an aspect of the reign of Louis XIV 1643-1715 and how he transformed France. ‘Louis le Grand’ (the Great), ‘le Dieudonne’ (Gift from God) and ‘le Roi Soleil’ (Sun King) are just some of the nicknames afforded to this flamboyant, arrogant, some say despotic, ruler


At A Level unit 1 is examined by a 2hr 30 min essay based examination, whilst unit 2 is examined by a 2hr 30 min examination, which is part source based. These are worth 40% each.

At AS these examinations are 1hr 30 min and worth 50% each.

The A Level coursework/ personal study is worth 20% and comprises a 3500 word assignment.

Future opportunities

History sharpens students’ ability to think clearly and critically, to write effectively, read critically and communicate intelligently. Its study is therefore ideal preparation for careers in journalism, marketing, politics, public relations or publishing.

History also teaches how to make sensible judgements based on the evidence available, how to succinctly state your case and how to analyse and evaluate causes, reasons and consequences. These are the high level skills and abilities sought by employers in fields such as the civil service, finance, local government and law.

Opportunities also exist within heritage, tourism, museums, galleries and, of course, teaching. Importantly, A Level History is a passport to a good university. The Russell Group (Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Bristol, York, Warwick etc) describe History as one of their eight ‘facilitating’ subjects, which are highly regarded in terms of admissions.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 06 June 2016
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