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History (A Level) AQA at The Robert Napier School

Course description

1: The Tudors - England, 1485–1603 This option allows students to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period.

Part One: Consolidation of the Tudor Dynasty: England, 1485–1547 Monarchy restored and enhanced, 1485–1529 • Henry VII and the consolidation of power and the removal of threats to his power from within and outside his realm • Henry VIII: character, aims and image as Renaissance Prince • Wolsey as Principal Minister; domestic reform and England’s relations with foreign powers • The condition of the Church: popular piety; anti-clericalism; leading critics of the Church Revolution in Church and State, 1529–1547 • Henry’s government and court: the causes of and influence of faction and rivalries; changes to government in Henry’s last years; the position of parliament • The Reformation, parliament and the establishment of Royal Supremacy • The course of religious changes and the search for a religious settlement • Opposition to religious change at Court and in the country Part Two: England, 1547–1603: Turmoil and Triumph Religious and political instability and consolidation, 1547–1570 • Edward VI’s minority and government under Somerset and Northumberland; religious changes and their impact; foreign relations • Government under Mary; religious changes and their impact; foreign relations • Elizabeth as queen: character, aims and image • The religious settlement and challenges to it including rebellion • Government, ministers and relations with parliament. Gloriana and decline, 1571–1603 • Elizabethan government and court; key ministers; factional rivalry • Relations with parliament, the problems of succession and Mary, Queen of Scots • Catholicism, missionaries, Catholic plots and the threat to the Elizabethan settlement • Divisions amongst Protestants; controversies within the Church and challenges to its structure and beliefs.

Unit 2 USA: Conflict at Home and Abroad, 1945–1976 This option provides the opportunity to study a period of major change in depth, focusing on key ideas, events and developments. Part One - USA: Conflict at Home: US Civil Rights, 1945–1976Pressures for change, 1945–1963 • The position of African-Americans in the USA in 1945 • Interventions by the Supreme Court and Federal Government • Challenges by African-Americans to racial segregation in the South and the development of a national movement • The response by white supremacists in the South The Civil Rights Movement, 1963–1968 • Martin Luther King • Presidents Kennedy and Johnson: their responses to the demands for change • Black radicalism and white supremacists • Urban riots and the impact of the Vietnam war. The Continuing Struggle for Civil Rights, 1968–1976 • Implementation of civil rights • Continuing unrest: Black Panthers and students • The changes to the representation of African-Americans in the mass media • The extent of change to the position of African-Americans by 1976. Part Two - Conflict Abroad: America and Vietnam, 1945–1975 The Origins and Beginnings of Involvement, 1945–1963 • The USA, anti-communism and the reaction to developments in Indo-China to 1954 • Division and developments in North and South Vietnam • Kennedy and Vietnam, 1961–1963 Fighting the War, 1963–1968 • President Johnson and escalation • The challenge of the Vietcong and the weakness of South Vietnam • The course of the war; strategy and tactics employed by both sides • Reaction to the war inside the USA. Ending the War, 1968–1975 • President Nixon, Vietnamisation and peace negotiations • Escalation to Cambodia and Laos • Withdrawal 1973–1975 • The impact of the Vietnam War on the USA.

Unit 3: Historical Investigation A personal enquiry will be investigated on a topic to be confirmed. Students will write a 3,000-3,500 word essay for this coursework unit.

Course content

See above.

Entry requirements

To apply for this course all students should have obtained a grade C pass in History.  

Students must be willing to read beyond the course textbooks and undertake individual research.


The A Level is a two year course.

Unit 1 = 40% - assessed at end of course in a 2 ½ hour exam.

Unit 2 = 40% - assessed at the end of the course in a 2 ½ hour exam.

Unit 3 = 20% - 3,000-3,500 word essay assessed internally.

Future opportunities

Whether you wish to go into full time employment or continue on to university, History provides an excellent basis for a wide range of careers e.g. Architecture, Graphic Design, Forensic Science, Law, Education, Police and Armed Forces, Politics, Business, Journalism and Media.

Further information

For further information please contact Mr C McVeigh.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 13 October 2015
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