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History A Level AQA at Grey Court School

Course description

“In history lie all the secrets of statecraft” Winston Churchill

“To be ignorant of the past is to remain forever a child” Cicero

Aspects that remain the same from GCSE include the teaching style, group work, and interactive learning and assessment by exam. Aspects that are different include delivery by specialist teachers in much smaller groups and completion of an assignment of 3500 words. There is a much greater demand on students to work independently both within the class and in their own time. Large levels of background reading and research are a standard expectation.

Course content

Component 1: Breadth Study> 1C: The Tudors: England 1485-1603

This option allows students to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the following key questions:

• How effectively did the Tudors restore and develop the powers of the monarchy?

• In what ways and how effectively was England governed during this period?

• How did relations with foreign powers change and how was the succession secured?

• How did English society and economy change and with what effects?

• How far did intellectual and religious ideas change and develop and with what effects?

• How important was the role of key individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments?


Year 12:                Part 1: Consolidation of the Tudor Dynasty, 1485-1587

                                                - Henry VII 1485-1509

                                                - Henry VIII 1509-1547


Year 13:                Part 2: England: Turmoil and Triumph, 1587-1603

  • Instability and consolidation: 'the MidTudor Crisis', 1547–1563
  • The triumph of Elizabeth, 1563–1603


Component 2: Depth Study > 2Q The American Dream: Reality or Illusion, 1945-1980

This option provides for a study in depth of the challenges faced by the USA at home and abroad as it emerged from the Second World War as a Superpower. For many Americans, post-war prosperity realised the ‘American dream’ but the prosperity was not shared by all and significant problems at home and abroad challenged the extent to which the ‘American dream’ was a reality. It explores concepts and ideas such as American identity at home and abroad, anti-communism, social equality, ethnic identities and federal versus states’ rights. It also encourages students to reflect on the nature of democracy in a pluralist society, political protest and the power of the media.

Part 1: Prosperity, inequality and Superpower status, 1945-1963

- Truman and Post war America 1945-1952

- Eisenhower: tranquility and crisis, 1952–1960

- John F Kennedy and the 'New Frontier', 1960–1963


Part 2: Challenges to the American Dream, 1963-1980

  • The Johnson Presidency, 1963–1968
  • Republican reaction: the Nixon Presidency, 1968–1974
  • The USA after Nixon, 1974–1980


Component 3:

A personal study based on a topic of the student’s choice in consultation with the teacher. This will be dependent on predicted grade and evidence of planning at this point in the course.

Entry requirements

5 GCSEs at grade 9-4

Grade 6 in GCSE History

Grade 5 in GCSE English


Component 1 - 2hr 30mins written exam (40%)

Component 2 - 2hr 30mins written exam (40%)

Component 3 – 3500 – 4000 words (20%)

Future opportunities

A-level History provides an excellent foundation for many careers such as research, journalism, law, teaching and lecturing to name but a few. History is a highly sort after subject on the Russell Group prospectus.

Enrichment opportunities:  Where possible, various opportunities will be made available, including trips, and lectures at universities and guest speakers. Trips include Hampton Court Palace, Tower of London and a range of relevant exhibitions etc. as they arise.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 27 September 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years
  • Course code: History A Level

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