GCE History

Why History?

It is difficult to avoid the impact of History in our modern world. We are living with the consequences of past events every day. A good historical education is essential to understand your world! Employers and Universities know students of History have developed a number of skills that can be applied to any situation. They know that:

  • You are able to gather information from a range of sources
  • You understand different points of view and can detect bias and propaganda
  • You can reach a balanced judgement based on reliable evidence

The research, analytical and presentational skills you learn in History are precisely the skills you need to operate in the world of work.

"Not to know what took place before you were born is to remain forever a child." Cicero, Roman Politician.

"Those who forget History are condemned to repeat it." George Santanya, Historian

"History is vitally important. If we are going to lead Britain safely into the 21st Century it is essential that we understand our country's historical roots." Tony Blair, 1996

Course Type: A Level
Exam Board: OCR
Specific Entry Requirements:
Grade 6 in GCSE History
Grade 6 in GCSE English Language
Course Assessment:
Students will complete 3 Components. 2 Components will be examinations, weighing 40% each and Component 3, weighing 20% of the final A level qualification.
Contact Curriculum Leader for more information:
Mrs Hood
Download Course Leaflet

Course Outline

You will study four Units as follows:

Y135 (Year 1) and Y105 (A): British Period Study and Enquiry

Examination Unit

1 hour 30 minutes exam in .

For this option you will be studying England 1445–1509: Lancastrians, Yorkists and Henry VII. This topic is concerned with the tumultuous period of British History that saw much strife and conflict. Focusing on the War of the Roses as an enquiry topic you will begin to understand the reasons behind the conflict as well as the complex politics behind the combatants. This part of the topic is based upon rigorous source analysis, a key skill in History. Following the War of the Roses you will begin to study the aftermath of this turning point in History. This part of the study will focus on the reigns and key features of the rule of both Edward IV and Richard III and the complexities of their relationships with the peasantry and aristocracy. You will then finally focus on the establishment of the Tudor monarchy with the crowning of Henry VII. This part of the study will again focus on his domestic and international policies and the way in which he dealt with the opposition to his rule.

Assessment for this module is based on two exams, one in and one in Year 2. These exams focus heavily on your ability to handle sources. Here you will have to hone your analysis skills and begin to make substantiated judgements based on strong contextual knowledge.

Y248 (Year 1) and Y218 (A): Non-British Period Study

Examination Unit

1 hour 30 minutes exam in Level. 1 hour exam in Year 2.

For this option you will be studying International Relations 1890–1941. This option is concerned with the complex international relationships that developed throughout the late the 19th century and the first part of the 20th century. You will start by studying the intense and complicated diplomatic situations across the world in the build up to the First World War and begin to thoroughly analyse different interpretations on who, or what, was most responsible for the outbreak of the First World War. You will also then study the war itself focussing on key events and individuals and delve deep into one of the bloodiest conflicts in History. A similar type of study will take place when you begin to study the Second World War later in the module, where you focus on the rise of Nazi Germany and how other nations responded to this threat. Finally, you will study the inter-war years and analyse how the attempts to make peace inevitably failed, focussing on the Treaty of Versailles in particular. The exam will require excellent contextual knowledge and a deep understanding of the topic is imperative to your success in this topic. All the key skills in history, including evaluation and analysis will be stretched within this module.

Y100: Topic Based Essay (Year 2)

Coursework Unit

3000-4000 words essay

In this unit you will complete an essay on a topic of your choosing that cannot relate to the topics we have already studied. In this unit you will include an explanation and analysis of different perspectives on a clearly-stated historical issue, drawing on a range of primary and secondary material. It will therefore utilise the skills and understanding developed elsewhere in the course. As an independent enquiry using a range of sources and interpretations, the essay will require you to develop an understanding of how historians work.

Y318: Thematic study and historical interpretations (Year 2)

Examination Unit

2 hours 30 minutes exam

For this option you will be studying Russia and its Rulers 1855–1964. You will consider the plight of citizens in Russia over this period as they were ruled by a series of authoritarian leaders. Consequently, you will assess how the leaders of this period shared similarities in their ruling style, and how they attempted to tackle the huge problems that often affected the country as a whole. The assessment for this module will be a 2 hours and 30 minutes examination, where you will be asked to answer 1 interpretation question and 2 theme based questions.

Important Forms

Questions or Queries?

Should you have any queries or comments please contact Miss Duncombe (Sixth Form Admissions Officer) by either:

Email: sixthformadmissions@sandwellacademy.com

Or by post:

Sixth Form Admissions Officer,
Sandwell Academy,
Halfords Lane,
West Bromwich,
West Midlands,
B71 4LG.

Please ensure that the correct postage is paid for the size of envelope used.