History – History A Level


History – Communism in the 20th Century (Russia 1917 – 1991 and China 1949 – 1976), British History c. 1780 to 1928 and coursework on Stalin and the purges.

Students will study Democracy, Autocracy and Dictatorship in Russia (1917 – 1991) and China (1949 – 1976).

In the second year students will study British History (Protest, Agitation and Parliamentary Reform) c. 1780 – 1928 for Paper 3 and will undertake a coursework assignment for Paper 4 of 3,000 – 4,000 words. This will require students to analyse the ways in which historians’ interpretations of events differ, and to evaluate which interpretation they find most persuasive.

Course Content

All Lower Sixth students will pursue the A Level course which in the first year is comprised of 2 papers with each paper focused on the history of a single country, Russia, 1917-1991 and China, 1949-1976. In the second year all students will study a British History paper based on ‘Protest, Agitation and Parliamentary Reform in Britain, c. 1780 – 1928’ and a coursework assignment (Paper 4), worth 20% of the A Level marks. This requires students to write a 3,000 – 4,000 word assignment based on historian’s interpretations of a historical controversy – Stalin’s role in the purges.

Students will enjoy and do well in History if they have a genuine interest in:

  • the world and the history of how it has developed
  • communicating through speech and writing
  • analysing and problem solving based on collecting and assessing evidence
  • planning their own learning
  • working with others and presenting and defending their interpretations and ideas

A Level History is assessed by four papers:

Lower Sixth:

* Paper 1: The history of a specific country in breadth (30%), Russia, 1917 – 1991.

* Paper 2: The history of Mao’s China, 1949 – 1976 in depth (20%).

Upper Sixth:

* Paper 3: Protest, Agitation and Parliamentary Reform in Britain, c. 1780 – 1928 in breadth and depth (30%).

* Paper 4: Coursework – evaluating historian’s interpretations of a historical controversy – Stalin’s role in the purges (20%).

The exam board for this A Level is Pearson Edexcel.

Educational Experiences

Course Specific Trips & Visits

The College offers a number of educational experiences each year to enable students to contextualise their learning. These experiences include trips, visiting speakers and residentials. In February 2019 the current History students will be visiting Beijing in China and in October 2019, students will be able to go on a trip to the USA visiting New York and Washington DC.


History is an extremely well respected and valued subject by all employers, businesses and educationalists. Hence History students and graduates are sought after in many walks of life. Areas that particularly attract Historians include: Journalism, Law, Business and Professional Management, The Civil Service, Teaching, The Heritage Industry and any profession which requires the ability to analyse and synthesise, write effectively and argue and present a case.

Entry Requirements & Assessment

Students wishing to include A Levels in their programme need to have (or expect to achieve) at least five GCSE passes, with at least two at Grade 5 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme.

In addition, students should meet the following minimum GCSE requirements:

  • Grade 5 in English Language and Grade 5 in History, if taken


What goes well with this course?

The obvious links are the other Humanities and Social Science subjects such as:

  • Politics
  • English
  • Sociology
  • Law
  • Geography
  • Economics

History is an ideal combination with almost any other subject.


How To Apply

Applications for entry September 2022. The application form for the academic year 2022-2023 is available to complete online here.

Students should return their completed forms directly to Coulsdon College, NOT their schools. All applications will be considered according to the College's Admissions Policy. Please see the Admissions timetable for information about the College’s enrolment process.



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Get in touch

Tel: 01737 551 176
Fax: 01737 551 282
Email: enquiries@coulsdon.ac.uk

Coulsdon Sixth Form College
Placehouse Lane
Old Coulsdon



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