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History A Level at East Sussex College

Course description

Modern history at Sussex Downs College is an exciting, engaging and rewarding subject. Students will explore a number of topics that will develop their knowledge and a range of highly sought after skills, from critical thinking to analytical writing. A large focus of the History A Level course will be on understanding the development and changes of modern Communist states in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These will include Russia between the Revolution of 1917, right up until the end of the Cold War in 1991, as well as Communist China under Chairman Mao. You will be studying challenging historical controversies, such as the reasons for the fall of the USSR or the rapid and tragic transformation of Chinese society during the 1950s and 60s. Students will also have the opportunity to explore the rise and fall of the British Empire, studying key moments in British colonial history such as American Independence, the conquest of India and the birth of the Settler colonises such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Students will attempt to answer questions which resonate politically with the modern world today, such as how did the small British Isles come to dominate a third of the world today, banning the slave trade and spreading parliamentary democracy, but also leaving a legacy of human suffering and dispossession? All of these subjects draw on a range of disciplines, including economics, law, politics and geography

Entry requirements

You will need to meet our standard entry requirements.

You will need at least GCSE English Language grade B/5 and History grade C/4 (if taken).


Your History A Level will be assessed through a series of exams at the end of your two year course. Paper 1, ‘Russia, 1917-91: from Lenin to Yeltsin’, and Paper 3, ‘Britain: losing and gaining an empire, 1763-1914’, will each consist of a 2 hour exam in which students will answer three questions on their topic, worth a total of 60 marks for each paper. Paper 2, ‘Mao’s China, 1949-76’, will be worth 40 marks and students will be required to answer two questions. The questions will range from standard essay answers to those using a number of historical sources which students will need to interpret and analyse

Future opportunities

As a traditional academic subject, History is highly respected in all areas of education and employment, and is highly sought after by universities and employees. Students with a History A Level will have proven analytical skills, able to evaluate, analyse and assess a range of historical sources, arguments and ideas.

Further information

Not applicable

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: 30 January 2019
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years
  • Course code: 0917/021
  • Web url: