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History (A Level) at Roundhay School All through education from 4 to 18

Course description


Year 12

Edexcel Route E: Communist States in the Twentieth Century

The options in Route E are linked by the theme of communism, one of the most significant ideologies of the twentieth century. Communism directly affected the lives of millions of people who lived under communist rule, but it also had indirect effects on countless others around the world. Studying two different countries allows students to develop a greater understanding of the nature of communist rule and the similarities and contrasts between them.

Paper 1 Option:

Russia, 1917-1991:

From Lenin to Yeltsin

This option comprises a study in breadth, in which students will learn about the key political, social and economic features of communist rule in Russia during the twentieth century, an era that saw its authority and influence rise to the status of a superpower, only to diminish and decline later in the century. 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: 1917–85. 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: reasons for the fall of the USSR, c1985–91.

Paper 2 Option:

The German Democratic Republic 1949-1990

This option comprises a study in depth of the creation, development, decline and collapse of the communist East German state, 1949–90. For the whole of its existence, East Germany was a key focus of world attention as it lay on the frontline of the Cold War, where contrasts between East and West could be seen at their starkest. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the political, economic and social policies of the East German government in this period, and their effects on the lives of its people.





Year 13

Paper 3 Option: Protest, agitation and Parliamentary Reform in Britain, c1780-1928.

This option comprises two parts: the Aspects in breadth focus on long-term changes and contextualise the Aspects in depth, which focus in detail on key episodes. Together, the breadth and depth topics explore the relationship between authority and mass agitation in England, the struggle for greater representation in England, and the ways in which the interests and concerns of individuals in society could make themselves known. Within the primarily political focus, this option also gives students the opportunity to explore the economic and social contexts and their influence on developments and on the pressures for change.

Coursework- International Relations in the Twentieth Century

Pupils will design their own assignment which will be either an issue in depth or breadth which has provoked controversy or debate amongst Historians.

Weightings for the components of the Course:


Weighting at AS

Weighting at A-Level

Paper 1- Russia



Paper 2- Germany


Paper 3- Britain

Not studied


Coursework- International Relations




Entry requirements

General entry requirement:

Students should achieve GCSE grade 5 in English Language and Mathematics plus 3 further GCSE grades 9-4 (or grade C in non-reformed qualifications) AND meet the individual subject specific requirements.

Plus History Grade 5 if taken at GCSE


Paper 1 is a 2 hour and 15 minute examination. Students will be examined on a breadth study with interpretations.

Paper 2 is a 1 hour and 30 minute examination Students will be examined on depth studies.

Paper 3 is a 2 hour and 15 minute examination

Coursework is independently researched and written but supported by the class teacher. This will be a 3,000-4,000 word study based on an issue from the study of International Relations.

Future opportunities

History provides students with opportunities to develop a variety of skills that will contribute to their employability, whatever their chosen career. The transferable skills, abilities and attitudes to independent learning developed through the study of history make students attractive to employers.

A significant number of our A Level students go on to study History-related degrees at University. History students from Roundhay have gone into the following fields: Law, Journalism, Teaching and Lecturing, Politics and International Relations, Public Relations, Finance and Business, Architecture, Archaeology, the Media.

Further information


To discuss this course, please contact our Team Leader of History, Mr T Clements

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Roundhay School All through education from 4 to 18 directly.

Last updated date: 08 November 2018
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