St John Plessington Catholic College

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A Level - Level 3

This subject is offered as an A Level course over two years.

The History course is intended to develop powers of reasoning, analysis and expression and to promote a thorough understanding of modern societies. As a subject, History is very well respected by both universities and employers. Studying History helps you to understand more fully the issues and events which make the headlines today: Why are there still Nazis in Germany today? Why is the Health Service so difficult to fund? Why is there a crisis in the Middle East?

Without an understanding of History such questions have little chance of being understood or resolved. It is a subject which will help you to understand people and their attitudes, beliefs and behaviour. As part of the course there are many opportunities to take part in a variety of trips and visits, including conferences in London and international study tours to destinations such as Germany and Poland.


History is assessed through a mixture of examinations and coursework. Students will complete two units in each year of study, three of these will be assessed through examinations and the fourth through an independent study and coursework piece of 4000 words.

All examinations will be sat at the end of the two year course in summer 2022.

Students will be expected to complete both essay based questions as well as analysis of historical interpretations in all examination papers. The independent study will be completed in the form of a 4000 word assignment. These two units will then be re-examined at A Level standard along with Paper 3 in the summer of Year 13.

Over the two year course topics will include:
Paper 1: Germany 1918-89.
Paper 2: Spain, 1930-78: republicanism, Francoism and the re-establishment of democracy.
Paper 3: Rebellion and disorder under the Tudors 1485- 1603. Coursework: Interpretations of American Civil Rights.

Is there anything else I should know?

History would be an ideal choice in combination with a variety of arts and humanities subjects such as English, Literature, Sociology, Religious Studies and Geography as well as demonstrating breadth of knowledge and understanding to universities and employees if the rest of your subjects are science or maths based.

Progression Routes

History is highly regarded and considered a ‘facilitating subject‘ for the top universities in the country, regardless of the degree that you wish to study. It provides an excellent grounding for those wishing to progress onto Law and other ‘humanities’ subjects but also for Medicine and Veterinary Science as well as Business or Management.

A Level History can lead to further study of the subject at degree level and provides an ideal foundation for careers in areas such as Journalism, Law, Politics, Education, the Civil/Diplomatic Service or indeed any profession which requires analytical ability or the skill of presenting a coherent argument.