Study option                                   Exam board                         Specification code

A Level two-year course                 Edexcel                                    9HI0

Why choose history?

History is one of the most fascinating subjects a person can study. It is the story of mankind and all that has come before us to shape how we live today. History is a subject that encourages and supports pupils using the skills of analysis, evaluation and explanation in a concise and cohesive style.

If you enjoy reading stories, exploring castles, debating or asking “why?” then this is the subject for you. Where else can you link in the childhood fairy tales you know so well with popular fiction and current debate to work out why witches were seen as a problem and why some castles are round but others are square? Did Richard III really kill the Princes in the Tower? Why did King John sign the Magna Carta?  How did France come to be a leader in revolution? And what do jelly babies have to do with world peace?  If you study A Level history you could find out!

Where can it lead?

History underpins and adds fresh insights to all other subject domains. After two absorbing years of study you will have acquired empathetic, organisational and evaluative skills vital for the next step towards a career in journalism, politics, the law, teaching, human resources, engineering and languages to name a few – the list is endless!

What will I study?

The A Level course requires you to take three examined papers and write one extended essay that is marked in school. The examined papers cover many periods but current popular choices are The Crusades, Anglo Saxon England, and Henry V’s empire.  For the 4000 word essay taken at the end of the course you can write on a subject of your choice that could cover anything from the Wars of the Roses to sixteenth century witch hunting, or from modern Russia or China to the effects of social media.

How will I be assessed?

The exams are all 2 hours and 15 minutes long but carry different weightings.

Are there any specific entry requirements?

There is no requirement to have GCSE history. Good passes in (I)GCSE English are useful.