History is an intellectually demanding subject that develops students’ knowledge and understanding of the past.

History is not about mindless memorisation of dates, events, kings and queens, but about understanding the behaviour and workings of people and societies and thus, ultimately, ourselves.
History helps us to discover how the society we live in came to be as it is: only through history can we understand how and why societies have changed, only through history can we identify continuities with the past.

Unit Description Era
1 Absolutist States: The Reign of Louis XIV 1661-1715

Course Focus: We live in an age of political spin, but this is nothing new. Louis XIV was a master of spin and propaganda. This course provides an overview of an age of dynasticism when both image and substance were vitally important to contemporary rulers. Louis, The Sun King, was the most powerful and influential ruler of the age: the aims and achievements of his long reign mark some of the greatest events, political and social themes and cultural landmarks of the time. The course will focus on an assessment of topics such as the pursuit of glory, religious persecution, foreign conquest and the centralisation of royal power. The story of his eventful long reign involves great generals, administrators, artists and most importantly, Louis himself.

Unit Description Era
3 British Monarchy: the Crisis of State 1642-1689

Course Focus: The study of change and continuity over a period of 57 years.

This period saw major turning points in our national story which have influenced and informed a great deal of our subsequent political and social development. The course covers the key events of the reign of Charles I which resulted in civil war and regicide, republicanism and the rule of Cromwell, the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II and the consequent Glorious Revolution. The major political and religious issues will be studied in depth and will focus on the changing nature of the monarchy, the increasing influence of parliament and how the authority of the state developed.

Unit Description Era
2 The Failure of Absolutism? 1625-1642

Course Focus:Why by 1642 had the relationship between Crown and Parliament deteriorated so badly, that Civil War broke out?

Students will be examined using a combination of source based questions and essays.

Unit Description Era
3 British Monarchy: the Crisis of State 1642-1689

Course Focus: To what extent was Communist rule a break with the past?

The collapse of Tsarism in Russia in 1917

This is an independent investigation that will address a question drawn from a study of Russia between 1855 and 1956. The focus will be the extent to which communist rule was a break with the Tsarist past. The unit will begin with a taught unit that takes a synoptic view of Russia from Tsar Alexander II to Josef Stalin. Students then begin their own research using a range of sources to produce a 3500 work essay that addresses our coursework question or a student may devise a question of their own so long as it is rooted in the synoptic study.

Course requirements

GCSE grade C and above in English, Maths and History.

What type of student is this course suitable for?

If your mind is curious, analytical and you want to challenge your thinking then this is the course for you. It is ideal for students who are independent, able to debate and who can organise and communicate their ideas effectively when writing. If you want to gain a qualification which compliments both a scientific and humanities route and one which every university highly values from their students then this is the course for you.

Where could this course take you?

Studying history at A Level will give you a deeper understanding of the past through social, political, economic and cultural perspectives. The skills you will develop are transferable to any degree pathway and will support a wide range of career choices.


Contact Mr Howes directly for more information on this course.

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