GCE A Level History

Two years for A level (A2). 2 examined units make up the AS level and a further 2 examined units are required for the full A level qualification.

OCR Specification A 
Further details are available from the OCR website

Entry Requirements/Student Suitability:
Students are required to reach the Wadebridge Sixth Form Level 3 entry criteria.  In addition, a minimum of a grade 6 in GCSE History is required (Grade 5 at school’s discretion depending on individual circumstance). Students who did not study History at GCSE can also be suitable for the course but it is recommended they have the minimum of a grade 5 in an equivalent Humanities subject such as Geography or EPR.

Course Content:
Year 1

  • Unit 1: Russia 1894 - 1941
    This module is examined using essay style questions
  • Unit 2: Britain 1930 - 1997 including Churchill 1920 - 1945
    This module is examined using source based and content based questions

Year 2

  • Unit 3:  Coursework module
    Independent Investigation - based on an area of your own interest in History
  • Unit 4:  Britain and Ireland 1798 - 1922
Unit 3 is submitted in Year 13.

For further information and exemplar question papers see the exam board website.

Methods of Study:

  • Activity based learning e.g. discussion, debate, peer teaching. 
  • Group work and presentations to class.
  • Textbooks and independent research.
  • Practising exam questions and exam technique.
  • Using websites and ‘activote’.
  • Visits and conferences where appropriate.

Independent Study Time: 
It is important that History students at A level develop a broad knowledge of the context of the modules they are studying, for example the module including Churchill will require a sound understanding of not just his life but also the times he lived in and the key events of the period. This means students must read around the subject in their independent study time. This can include reading relevant articles in ’History Review’, browsing the internet, collecting newspaper articles and discussion at home. A good understanding can be gained through watching T.V. programmes or films and reading novels or biographies about the periods you will study.

Homework will be set regularly and will include practice examination questions. These will be used to assess progress.

Progression and the Future:
An A level in History is regarded as an excellent measure of academic ability and is widely respected by employers. The subject gives students the means to develop their personal confidence by expressing views and opinions, the skills of reasoning, analysis and debate and the opportunity to develop literacy skills. It is a subject which compliments all other subject areas that students study at A level very well and is one of the key qualifications that professions, such as the law, journalism, teaching and administration would expect to see in their candidates.  Among the most successful people in the fields of business, politics, law and even entertainment have History qualifications and it is among the most popular subjects taken nationally at both A and degree level. As a result of the introduction of an English Baccalaureate at GCSE, it is expected that demand for History will increase.

Subject Contacts:

Mr B Finnegan
Curriculum Area Leader - History

How to Apply:
The Application Process begins in November of each year.  Please contact Debbie Chick, Sixth Form Support, for further information or to request an application form.

Click here for a printable version of this subject specification.


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