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History A Level (Year 1)
Study Mode
Full Time 
Course Code:
Entry Requirements
5 GCSEs at A* - C. Must include English Language, Mathematics and History (if taken). Attendance at an A Level information event.

History A Level (Year 1)

Our history course focuses on British and European history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Through this we aim to stimulate your interest in the past and your appreciation of the importance of history in the contemporary world. We also aim to develop your understanding of the controversial nature of history and your skills of historical enquiry.

Key Units

At Peaks, you will study the transformation of Russia from Imperial Tsarist Russia in 1884 to Stalin’s Communist Russia by 1953. You will explore key events which led to the downfall of the 300 year Romanov dynasty and the creation of a Socialist state, for example the revolutions and war. The unit will also focus on the study of key individuals such as Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin and the use of The Great Terror to ensure the conformity of the civilians in creating a Communist state. Ultimately you will trace the economic and social progression of Russia which rapidly transformed the country from a backward state to a rival World Power.

At Hillsborough, you will study the transformation of Europe in the 19th century through the creation of two new states – Italy and Germany. You will explore how this resulted from, for example, the spread of revolutionary ideas such as nationalism, war between Europe’s great powers and the actions of key statesmen such as Cavour and Bismarck. The second unit focuses on British history. You will also study the relationship between changes in the mass media and wider changes in social, economic and cultural life in Britain since 1945.

At Peaks, you will study the experience of warfare in Britain between 1854 and 1929. This will focus on the impact of three wars on the British people – the Crimean War, Boer War and First World War. In both units particular use will be made of primary sources.

In the second year, you will study in depth German history from 1900-45. This will include the Kaiser’s empire before 1914, the impact of the First World War on German society and politics, the Weimar Republic, the rise of Hitler and the Nazis and the impact of the Second World War on the Nazi regime. We will also focus on two historical controversies: Germany’s responsibility for the First World War, and the reasons for the populist appeal of Hitler and the Nazi regime to the German people, in the years to 1945. The second unit focuses on the development of representation and democracy in Britain over the period 1830-1930 with a particular emphasis on the causes of change over the 100-year period.

Previous study of History is not essential.

Disclaimer: Please note that at the time of writing the EdExcel syllabus is still in draft form. Updates are available on the examination board website

Will this subject suit me?
If you have an interest in the world around you, the society you live in and how it has developed; if you enjoy learning about people in a different time and place, how they interacted and what motivated them; if you enjoy analysing evidence and debating what it shows, then history is the subject for you.

Personal study time:
You will experience a mix of learning activities in class and will be given a variety of tasks and assignments to be completed in your own time. Over the course of an academic year you should reckon on spending about as much time studying history outside the classroom as you do in it. This will mainly be on assignments set by your teachers but you will also be encouraged to take personal responsibility for your learning through self-assigned tasks such as extended reading and note making.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at A* - C. Must include English Language, Mathematics and History (if taken). Attendance at an A Level information event.



Where does this Lead

A Level History is a highly regarded qualification. We have close ties with the History Departments at both universities in Sheffield but past students have also gone on to study history either as a single subject or in combination with others at a wide range of universities throughout the country. The historian’s skills are also highly valued in a variety of careers including law, journalism, theatre production, teaching, business and public service.