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History A Level at St Olave's Grammar School

Course description

The AS/A-Level History course at St. Olave’s focuses on nineteenth and twentieth century British history alongside the birth of the United States of America in the eighteenth century. Both courses will be taught across Year 12 and 13 with approximately half the content being covered in each year. 

In Year 12 we will explore Britain’s relationship with its colonies in North America and the way in which tension grew prior to the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Year 13 will focus on the American War of Independence and will introduce many of the most iconic figures in US History including George Washington and his contemporaries as they first fought for their independence and then constructed a new nation. Our course on Britain focuses on such issues as the progressive extension of the right to vote to all adult men and women, the changing fortunes of the major political parties, the roles of Prime Ministers, the House of Commons and the House of Lords and the influence of trade unions and the mass media. The work and relationships of the great Prime Ministers of the latter half of the nineteenth century; Gladstone, Disraeli and Salisbury will be explored in Year 12 alongside the growth of the British Empire. Year 13 will focus on the effects of the two World Wars on Britain both at home and abroad.

Course content

Democracy, Empire and War: Britain, 1851-1964

To be structured:

AS: Imperial Britain, 1851-1914: Reform and Empire and challenges to the status quo at home abroad

A-Level: The World Wars and their legacies: Britain, 1914-1964: The Great War and its impact and transformation and change

The Birth of the USA, 1760-1801

To be structured:

AS: The Origins of the American Revolution, 1760-1776

A-Level: Establishing the Nation, 1776-1801

Entry requirements

At least an A Grade in GCSE English is required (either English Language or Literature accepted) is required by students wishing to study A-Level History. Students will confirm whether they will be sitting AS or continuing to A-Level in the first half of Year 12.


The AS/A-Level course is assessed by means of written examinations (the questions are a mixture of source based exercises, essays and course work.  

Future opportunities

  • Many A level historians go onto study History, Politics, International Relations, Law and similar courses at university. 
  • Graduates with History degrees are to be found in a wide range of professions including the Civil Service, the Legal Profession, Business, Journalism, Teaching and in many other spheres.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Olave's Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 24 March 2017
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