History: A Level

Course Description
 
A-level students must take assessments in all three of the following components in the same series:
Component 1: Breadth study
Component 2: Depth study
Component 3: Historical investigation (Personal study).
 
Students must:
Study the history of more than one country
Study a British history option for component 1 or 2
Study a non-British history option for component 1 or 2
Study topics from a chronological range of at least 200 years.
 
Course Assessment
 
Year 1 (AS Level)
 
AS Component One – Breadth Study (Tudor England)
The examination paper for this component is designed to test students’ ability in relation to AO1 and AO3. There are two sections to the paper.
 
In Section A there will be a compulsory question which tests students’ ability to analyse and evaluate the views of historians (AO3). Two extracts will be provided, containing contrasting historical interpretations linked to a broad issue or development. In response to the question students will be required to assess and arrive at a judgement about which interpretation is more convincing. In doing so, they must apply knowledge and understanding of the historical context to these arguments and interpretations; deployment of knowledge that does not relate to the extracts will, however, not be credited. The question is worth 25 marks.
 
In Section B, two questions will be set of which students answer one. Either question tests AO1 and is designed to test historical understanding over an extended period. The focus of these questions will be, as appropriate, on causation, change, continuity, similarity and significance over time. Either question will be in the form of a judgement about an issue or development and students are required to analyse and evaluate the judgement. The question carries 25 marks.
 
AS Component Two – Depth Study (Weimar and Nazi Germany)
The examination paper for this component is designed to test students’ ability in relation to AO1 and AO2. There are two sections to the examination paper.
 
In Section A there will be a compulsory question which tests students’ ability to analyse and evaluate the value of primary sources (AO2). Two primary sources will be provided. In response to the question, candidates will be required to make an assessment of the value of the sources in relation to an event or issue. The question is worth 25 marks.
 
In Section B, two questions will be set of which students answer one. Either question tests AO1 and is designed to test historical understanding in depth. The focus of these questions will be, as appropriate, on causation, change, continuity, similarity and significance in relation to a narrow issue or development. Either question will be in the form of a judgement about an issue or development and students are required to analyse and evaluate the judgement. The question carries 25 marks.
 
The questions in Section B, in order to test AO1 in its entirety, will have a range of foci both in any one paper and over time. Thus, in addition to targeting the generic qualities of organisation, analysis, evaluation and judgement, questions will also test the range of foci in the AO: cause, consequence, change, continuity, similarity, difference and significance. Consistent with the nature of historical analysis, a single question may require students to demonstrate understanding of more than one of these perspectives.
 
The knowledge, understanding, skills and abilities tested at AS reflect those tested at A-level, but are at a standard that reflects what can be expected from students at the end of the one year of study and comprises the first part of the equivalent specified A-level content. 
 
A Level Component One (Tudor England)
The examination paper for this component is designed to test students’ ability in relation to AO1 and AO3. There are two sections to the paper. There will be a compulsory question in Section A testing students’ ability to analyse and evaluate the views of historians (AO3). Three extracts will be provided, containing historical interpretations linked to a broad issue or development. Students will be required to identify the arguments and evaluate them. In doing so, they must apply knowledge and understanding of the historical context to these arguments and interpretations; deployment of knowledge that does not relate to the extracts will receive no credit. This question carries 30 marks.
 
Section B will contain three essay questions of which students are required to answer two. Each essay tests AO1 and is designed to test historical understanding over a broad chronology of approximately 20 years. The focus of these questions will be, as appropriate, on understanding causation, change, continuity, similarity, difference and significance over time. Thus, questions with a narrow focus, such as those focused on specific events, will not be set. Each question in this section carries 25 marks. It is advised that students should spend one hour on the compulsory question and 45 minutes on each of the essay questions.
 
A Level Component Two (Weimar and Nazi Germany)
The examination paper for this component is designed to test students’ ability in relation to AO1 and AO2. There are two sections to the examination paper.
In Section A there will be a compulsory question testing students’ ability to analyse and evaluate the value of primary sources to an historian studying a particular issue or development (AO2). Three sources will be set for evaluation. In their assessments, students are expected to evaluate the sources, considering, for example, provenance, style and emphasis and the content of the sources. Students must deploy knowledge and understanding of the historical context when making their assessments and, in doing so, must avoid generalised comment about the value of sources without reference to context. Deployment of knowledge that does not relate to the sources will receive no credit. This question carries 30 marks.
 
Section B will contain three essay questions of which students are required to answer two. Each essay tests AO1 and is designed to test historical understanding in depth, by a focus on events, issues and developments and the interrelationships of various perspectives as they apply to the question. Each question in this section carries 25 marks. It is advised that students should spend one hour on the compulsory question and 45 minutes on each
of the essay questions. The questions in Section B, in order to test AO1 in its entirety, will have a range of foci both in any one paper and over time. Thus, in addition to targeting the generic qualities of organisation, analysis, evaluation and judgement, questions will also test the range of foci in the AO: cause, consequence, change, continuity, similarity, difference and significance. Consistent with the nature of historical analysis, a single question may require students to demonstrate understanding of more than one of these perspectives.
 
A Level Component Three: Historical Investigation
Students must complete a Historical investigation. This tests AO1, AO2 and AO3. The Historical investigation must:
Be independently researched and written by the student take the form of a question in the context of approximately 100 years that does not duplicate content within option chosen for Components 1 and 2
Be presented in the form of a piece of extended writing of between 3000 and 3500 words in length 
Draw upon the student's investigation of sources (both primary and secondary) which relate to the development or issue chosen and the differing interpretations that have been placed on this. 
 
The Historical investigation carries 40 marks.
 
Career Opportunities and Progression to University
You can progress to higher education courses, such as honours degrees in History, or to degrees in related subjects such as Politics, English Literature, Economics or Geography; or to vocational qualifications such as a BTEC in Media (Journalism) or in Travel and Tourism.
An Advanced GCE in History will give you a number of skills relevant to many types of employment, such as the ability to seek information and to analyse it in order to identify facts and motives and to present information clearly for others to understand.
The skills you will obtain through studying history will be useful in a number of careers, either directly related to history (e.g. working in museums, galleries, heritage sites, record offices and archives and teaching), or in areas such as journalism, libraries, national and local government and the civil service.
 
The Advanced GCE in History will appeal to you if you have an interest in the world around you, the society you live in, and how it has developed, you like learning about people, how they interact, and what motivates them and you have an interest in different countries, societies and cultures.