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History A Level at Coombe Boys' School

Course description

A Level History will enhance your ability to think critically alongside developing skills such as source analysis, essay-writing and independent research. Students will need to be keen and confident readers to evaluate sources and undertake wider reading.

Successful History candidates will be able to confidently challenge historical evidence and interpretations and reach their own judgments, which are all key skills vital for further study at University in a variety of related subjects. The Department organizes several visits to enhance your learning including University study days and workshops at the National Archives

Course content

Unit 1: England 1547-1603: the Later Tudors A study of the Mid Tudor Crises from 1547-1558 including religious changes under Edward VI and Mary Tudor, factional conflict and the causes and nature of rebellion and unrest. This unit also includes a depth study on Elizabethan England including the Puritan challenges; Mary Queen of Scots; issues of marriage and succession and Elizabethan Government. The unit will end with Elizabeth’s later years considering acts of rebellion, the impact of war with Spain and her reputation as a monarch. Assessment: 1 hour 30 minutes exam including source analysis and an essay based question. 25% of A Level.

Unit 2: The Cold War in Europe 1941-1995 This unit will consider the key events of The Cold War in Europe which has shaped the political landscape today. These events include Soviet control of Eastern Europe; conflicts over Germany including The Berlin Wall; the development of the arms race; the invasion of Afghanistan and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Assessment: 1 hour exam. 15% of A Level.

Unit 3: Civil Rights in the USA 1865-1992 This unit focuses on the struggle of citizens in the United States to gain equality before the law. Students will study the main developments and turning points and factors which discouraged and encouraged change for African Americans, Trade Unions, Native Americans and women. Students will also study the role of Civil Rights leaders and groups such as Martin Luther King and The Black Panthers alongside the role of Presidents and The Supreme Court. Assessment: 2 hours 30 minutes exam. 40% of A Level.

Unit 4: Independently researched essay Students will independently research and write a 3000-4000 word essay on a question arising from the Unit 1 topic. 20% of A Level.

Entry requirements

We require you to have at least a grade B in History GCSE. If you have not studied History at GCSE, we require you to have a B grade for English Literature and Language at GCSE. Potential students are encouraged to consider that this is an essay-based subject which requires wide reading and research.


See course content.

Future opportunities

History is regarded as a strong academic subject. The analytical skills which form the basis of history are vital to the requirements of most degree courses. History students may go on to study a variety of specialisms including History, Classics, Politics, Law, International Relations, English, Archaeology and more at university.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Coombe Boys' School directly.

Last updated date: 13 July 2015

Key information

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