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AS/A2 LEVEL HISTORY at Plantsbrook School

Course description

EDEXCEL Advanced GCE in History

Course content


What will I learn on this GCE Advanced course?

During your course you will learn:

·         About the significance of events, individuals, issues and societies in history.

·         How and why societies have changed over time.

·         About the theories of historians and the language that they use to discuss their ideas.

·         To understand the nature of historical evidence and the methods used by historians to analyse and evaluate it.

·         To develop an understanding of how the past has been interpreted and represented.

·         To express your own historical ideas confidently and effectively.

It is not a requirement that you studies History at GCSE in order to take an AS or GCE Advanced course in the subject.  A number of the topics offered for study are developments from GCSE but there are also plenty of topics offered which are likely to be new to most students.  It is more important that you have an enquiring mind, an interest in the past and its relevance to current affairs and an ability to communicate your ideas effectively.


Those students who have studied History GCSE will find that the skills they have learned and the knowledge they have acquired will form a solid foundation for further studies at AS/GCE Advanced.


Students also have the opportunity to go on enrichment visits to the WWI Battlefields and Auschwitz in Poland.

Entry requirements


The course will appeal to students who:

·         Have an interest in the way that the world has developed through the ages.

·         Enjoy investigation and discovery.

·         Enjoy debate and like putting forward a well-argued case.

·         Want to improve their analytical skills.

·         Want to study a subject which encourages them to consider evidence and make up their own minds.

·         Want to broaden science AS or GCE Advanced studies to include a humanities subject.

·         Want to keep their options open, History is widely regarded as a useful qualification for a wide range of higher education or career choices.

·         Are interested in looking at the impact of events and the consequences of these on the wider world.



How are the AS Units assessed?                        The AS course consists of Unit 1 and Unit 2.


Unit 1:  Historical Themes in Breadth:

Students here study two components namely:

E1 – The Road to Unification Italy c.1815 – 70 and E3 – The collapse of the Liberal State and the Triumph of Fascism in Italy, 1896 – 1943.  Collectively for E1 and E3 the students will undertake one examination.  Here they will answer 2 essay based questions, one selected from the E1 topic and one selected from the E3 topic.  They will have one examination lasting 1 hr and 20 min.  This will be on broad views of history and only on the selected topics.  They will assess the Historical significance of events, ideas, attitudes and beliefs and how they influence behaviour and actions.  Each essay question will be marked out of 30.  Each topic is extremely interesting.  The examination for this unit will be in June.





Unit 2:  British History and Depth Studies:

This is based primarily on British History.  It is a source based examination.  Students will have a 1 hr 20 min paper.  They are required to study Conflict and Change in the 19th and 20th Century Britain.  Here we look at the Experience of Warfare in Britain, Crimea, Boer and the First World War, 1854-1919.  Students answer 2 questions within the examination.  Part (A) component is worth 20 marks and it is a compulsory question without choice based on sources and source enquiry.  Part (B) in the examination, the students select a question and they use the sources provided and their own knowledge to answer a question.  Part (A) is worth 20 marks and Part (B) 40 marks.  The examination for this unit will be in June.


GCE Advanced:


How are the A2 Units assessed?


Unit 3 Depth studies and Associated Historical Controversies:

For Unit 3 we study Option D, a fascinating exploration of the origins and policies of Nazi Germany.  It is a natural progression from Unit 1 and students will be able to make comparisons with Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany Historical Controversies or the challenges within History.  It allows for wider analysis debate and enquiry.  The examination is 2 hours in duration with 2 sections.  Section (A) will be an essay on a selected topic worth 30 marks.  Section (B) of the examination is based on sources and students own knowledge.  The sources will be secondary pieces only this second section is worth 40 marks.  This is a June examination.


Unit 2 Historical Enquiry:

Topic:  20th Century International Relations, 1879 – 1980.

A coursework assignment, which includes the examination of source material and the analysis of the process of change over a period of at least 100 years.  This period will be assessed by students completing a 2 section enquiry.  Part A will be worth 25 marks and students look in depth at the significance of a key event, person or factor upon International Relations.  In Part B, students will select a chosen individual study in a broader context and will explain changes over a 100 year period.  The word limit for the whole assignment is 4000 words.

Further information


As well as covering advanced level study of History, this course will enable you to develop some transferable skills, which will be essential to you whatever you go on to do afterwards.  The skills you can develop during this course are:

·         Communication

·         Information Technology

·         Problem solving

·         Working with others

·         Improving own learning and performance



Subject Content:


The Expansion and Challenge of Nationalism


Conflict and Change in 19th and 20th Century Britain


The Challenge of Fascism:  From Kaiser to Fuhrer:  Germany 1900-45


Coursework assignment:  20th Century International Relations, 1879 - 1980


How to apply

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

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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