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A-level History Level 3 | GCE AS Level in History

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Unconditional Places to Full-Time Applicants

Due to the uncertainty around how long the Covid-19 outbreak will last, it has been agreed for the immediate future that we will be offering unconditional places to full-time (not University Level) applicants who apply to SGS College.

Once you apply for your course, you will receive a communication offering you a place.

You just need to accept the offer, if you wish to.

We will then be in touch to discuss the offer once the Covid-19 risk reduces.



This course is designed to enable you to explore and extend your interest in and enthusiasm for history, and to acquire an understanding of its intrinsic value and significance. It will help you to improve as an independent learner through the application of critical analysis of historical sources and extended wider reading outside the classroom. Studying history at A-level will not only teach you about significant periods in time, such as the English Reformation and the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany, but will also develop your skills of enquiry and analysis.

The course is split into two components which will both be studied over the course of both years.

Year 1:

Component 1 – Breadth Study: The Tudors, England, 1485–1603

Unit 1: Henry VII, 1485–1509

  • Henry Tudor’s consolidation of power
  • Government
  • Relations with foreign powers
  • Society
  • Economic development
  • Religion
  • Unit 2: Henry VIII, 1509–1547

  • Henry VIII – Character and aims
  • Government
  • Relations with foreign powers
  • Society
  • Economic development
  • Religion
  • Component 2 – Depth Study: Democracy and Nazism, Germany, 1918–1945

    Unit 1: The establishment and early years of Weimar, 1918–1924

  • The context for the establishment of the Weimar Constitution
  • The peace settlement
  • Economic and social issues
  • Political instability and extremism
  • Unit 2: The ‘Golden Age’ of the Weimar Republic, 1924–1928

    • Economic developments • Social developments • Political developments and the workings of democracy • Germany’s international position

    Unit 3: The collapse of democracy, 1928–1933

    • The economic, social and political impact of the Depression • The appeal of Nazism and Communism • Hindenburg, Papen, Schleicher and the 'backstairs intrigue' • Political developments

    Year 2:

    Component 1 – Breadth Study: The Tudors, England, 1485–1603

    Unit 3: Instability and consolidation, 'The mid-Tudor crisis', 1547–1563

    • Edward VI, Somerset and Northumberland • The social impact of religious and economic changes under Edward VI • Mary I and her ministers • The social impact of religious and economic change under Mary I • Elizabeth I – Character and aims • The impact of economic, social and religious developments in the early years of Elizabeth’s rule

    Unit 4: The triumph of Elizabeth, 1563–1603

    • Elizabethan government • Foreign affairs • Society • Economic development • Religious developments, change and continuity • The last years of Elizabeth

    Component 2 – Depth Study: Democracy and Nazism, Germany, 1918–1945

    Unit 4: The Nazi dictatorship, 1933–1939

    • Hitler’s consolidation of power • The ‘Terror State’ • Economic policies and the degree of economic recovery • Social policies

    Unit 5: The racial state, 1933–1941

    • The radicalisation of the state • Anti-Semitism – early policies • Anti-Semitism – the further development of anti-Semitic policies and actions • Anti-Semitism – early stages of the war

    Unit 6: The impact of war, 1939–1945

    • Rationing, indoctrination, propaganda and morale • The wartime economy and the work of Speer • Policies towards the Jews and the ‘untermenschen’ during wartime • Opposition and resistance in wartime • An overview of the Nazi state by 1945

    Component 3 – Black civil rights: non-exam assessment

    In addition to the examined components of the course, learners also need to complete a non- examined assessment (NEA). The NEA is introduced to the students after the AS exams in the first year and consists of a 4500-word piece of work using sources and interpretations on the topic of black civil rights in the USA, 1963–1968.

    The background content is required to be researched independently and in depth over the summer break, and students are free to choose their own topic for investigation as long as it fulfills certain criteria set by the exam board. The NEA is collected and marked during the February of the second year of study.

    How will I know how I am doing?

    AS (Year 1) exams:

  • Held at the end of Year 1.
  • Consist of two separate one and a half hour papers. Students answer two essay questions per paper on topics studied this year; 50 mins on Section A and 40 mins on Section B.
  • Continuation to the second year is dependent on achieving a good result in these exams.

    A-level (Year 2) exams:

  • Held at the end of Year 2.
  • Consist of two separate two and a half hour papers. Students answer three essay questions per essay paper; 60 minutes on Section A and 45 mins on each of the two questions in Section B.
  • The A-level exam is on content taught in the first and second years of the course.

    Exam structure, both AS and A-level exams:

    Component 1

  • Section A – Historical interpretations
  • Section B – Essays
  • Component 2

  • Section A – Historical sources
  • Section B – Essays
  • What do I need to join?

    To study this course, you will need 5 GCSEs at grade 4–9, including English and Maths. You must also have a grade 5 or above in History.

    Work Experience

    You will be required to do a minimum of 36 hours of work experience. This is usually completed in a week during your first year in term time, where you will have the opportunity to explore a career field which takes your interest. In the lead-up to this week, you will be asked to create an exciting CV during a group tutorial period. The aim of this activity is to give you an idea of what full-time employment is like and to help you think about which career you would like to follow.

    What can I do next?

    Following the completion of A-level History, students are equipped with the skills for the further study of the subject at university, as well as other essay-based humanities subjects such as politics, philosophy, English literature, law and sociology. The skills gained from history are also useful for many different job roles, including administration positions and management roles where the handling and interpretation of data is important and reports need to be written.

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    Course information last updated: Friday 10th July 2020 @ 8.41am (17 hours ago)

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    AvailabilityAll Full-time Further Education courses commence in September each year. If you can't find what you're looking for or require further assistance, please contact our Admission team 01453 761165 or email [email protected]

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    Enquire about A-level History 0800 0567 253 | [email protected]

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