As a History student, you will never experience the events that you study; instead you have to build up a picture from the evidence that has been left. You have to become skilled at asking questions, sometimes awkward questions; you have learned not to take everything at face value. You have to develop empathy and understanding of the actions and achievements of others; you have to be prepared to put your case and argue it well; you have to use evidence to draw conclusions and make judgements. These skills are highly desirable in many different careers and A Level History is excellent training for any career where you have to use evidence or make decisions, especially where those decisions affect other people.

Course Title Advanced GCE in History

Examination Board AQA

Course Content 

Unit 1: Change and Continuity 1H Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855–1964

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

  • How was Russia governed and how did political authority change and develop?
  • Why did opposition develop and how effective was it?
  • How and with what results did the economy develop and change?
  • What was the extent of social and cultural change?
  • How important were ideas and ideology?
  • How important was the role of individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments?

Unit 2: Historical Issues: Periods of Change

This option provides for the study of a transformative period of British history, during which democratically elected government faced a series of challenges, both internally and externally, and British society underwent fundamental change. It develops concepts such as reform and retrenchment, patriotism and pacifism, social status and cultural values. It also encourages students to reflect on the process of economic and social change and the impact of that change for both governments and the people.

Unit 3: Historical Enquiry NEA

This unit requires students to produce a piece of work which tests understanding of change over 100 years. It requires the demonstration of historiography and the skills developed through the other three units. Approximately 3500 words.


Unit 1: Breadth Study 1H Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855–1964

The study of significant historical developments over a period of around 100 years and associated interpretations.

written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

three questions (one compulsory)

80 marks

40% of A Level

Unit 2: Depth Study Britain in Transition, 1906–1957

The study in depth of a period of major historical change or development and associated primary evidence.

written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

three questions (one compulsory)

80 marks

40% of A Level

Unit 3: Historical Investigation 

A personal study based on a topic of student’s choice. This should take the form of a question in the context of approximately 100 years.

3000-3500 words

40 marks

20% of A Level

marked by teachers and moderated by AQA

Future Progression

History is an excellent subject for a wide range of careers. You can obviously go on to study Modern History, Medieval History, Victorian Studies, etc. and there are also degrees related to History such as American Studies, International Relations or even Egyptology. History can be studied in combination with thousands of other subjects such as languages, Sociology, Mathematics or Zoology, and there are also some subjects such as Law or Journalism which prefer their students to have History A Level. The majority of students who take History degrees don’t enter a field connected to History. Those who do can be teachers, archaeologists, tourist guides, museum workers and archivists. Others enter a wide range of professions including marketing, sales, retail, journalism, the armed forces, management, etc. to name just a few. In fact, the many skills you develop by studying History, such as analysis, research, communication and judgment, make it an ideal training for almost any profession. It is a highly regarded subject.

To succeed in History

You will:

  •  Have a genuine interest in debate and interpretation
  •  Be willing to read extensively around the subject from a variety of sources
  •  Be comfortable with the extended and in depth written aspect of the assessment criteria
  •  Be working at or near a Grade 7 in GCSE History.

NB: Exact topics offered are to be decided in light of changes to A Level examinations.