A Level History

Name of course

A Level History

Examining board

Edexcel (9HI0)

Link to specification More information about the course can be found from the exam board website here

Course Entry Requirements

To study History you need a Grade 6 or above in GCSE History or GCSE English Language

Why study History?



By studying History you will learn about the past and through this gain a better understanding of the present. History will help you develop a greater understanding of change and how the society we live in came to be, it will provide you with, an awareness of the development of differing values, systems and societies – without history there would be no future.

History provides students with a wide range of valuable transferable skills. Principally, students develop the ability to understand and critically analyse issues and events. Other highly marketable skills include:

•          a talent for clear expression, both oral and written

•          putting forward ideas and arguments in a concise manner

•          gathering, investigating and assessing material

•          research, generating ideas, reaching independent judgments

•          managing and organising material in a logical and coherent way

•          formulating hypotheses and sophisticated debates

Course Content



Year 12 History

  • Unit  1: Russia, 1917-1991: From Lenin to Yeltsin

This option comprises a study in breadth, in which students will learn about the key political, social and economic features of communist rule in Russia during the twentieth century, including its rise to and fall from superpower status

  • Unit 2: The German Democratic Republic, 1949-1990

This option comprises a study in depth of the transformation of East Germany. Students will investigate the political, economic and social changes in this period and their impact upon the lives of the East German people.

Year 13 History

  • Unit 3: Britain: Losing and Gaining an Empire, 1763-1914

This topic consists of breadth and depth topics exploring the development of the British Empire and the part played by the Royal Navy and Merchant Marine. Students will study the political, economic and social developments that resulted in Britain possessing the largest empire the world has ever known

  • Unit 4: Historical Enquiry

Candidates will be required to submit an Historical Enquiry, based on the investigation of an historical issue.

Where could this course lead to?


There are plenty of higher education courses which are complimentary to taking History at A level – History, Law, International Relations/Politics, Journalism and Philosophy.

  • a significant number enter the legal profession
  • Teacher and Museum Curator
  • library, information and archivist careers
  • politics and civil service
  • publishing and writing
  • journalism, television and radio
  • business and finance
  • clerical, secretarial and administration
  • charity and voluntary sectors
  • marketing, sales and PR
  • IT and research roles
  • Creative and design professions

Suggested Reading and resources




  • Orlando Figes - Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991
  • Frederick Taylor - The Berlin Wall
  • Simon Sebag Montefiore – Stalin: The court of the Red Tsar
  • Niall Ferguson – How Britain made the modern world

Films and Television Programs

  • Deutschland 83
  • The Lives of Others
  • Documentaries on the USSR and the dropping of the Atom Bomb

What our students say about studying History


“A level History is relevant and gives you knowledge to help you understand the current day.”

“History contains elements of Economics, Politics and English so it helps develop the skills you will need in other subjects and broadens your mind.”

“Studying History is fantastic because the past is very important to understand the present world. Studying the British Empire has helped me to gain a better understanding of current tensions that are going on and the fundamentals of British Politics.”

“An exciting range of topics are covered in A Level History. I have really enjoyed learning about Communist States in the 20th Century as well as the impact the British Empire has had on the World.”