Why study History?

If you enjoy the study of the past both for its own sake and also for the light it throws on the present, then History A level is for you. The study of History trains you to select relevant information, assess the validity of an argument, think and write logically, make informed judgements about controversial issues and present a well-ordered case backed by supporting evidence, thereby equipping you for a wide variety of careers.  It is certainly an ideal grounding for law, involving, as both do, the deployment of argument based on evidence.

The skill most developed by History is that of critical analysis and the ability to express ideas, knowledge and interpretations clearly and coherently. In the fields of management, marketing, journalism, administration, and accountancy this is a highly valued asset. Many employers regard A level History as an excellent training in the marshaling of arguments and in decision-making. As a well-respected academic discipline, History is considered a worthwhile A level subject for entry to almost all degree courses. It will furthermore provide those applying for predominantly scientific courses with academic breadth.

The department organises a large number of activities as well as maintaining close contact with university departments in History, Law and Politics. We have an excellent record in helping students achieve Oxbridge places as well as places at the whole gamut of higher education institutions. The student-run Agincourt Society meets about three times a term and, as part of that, university speakers and students alike give papers and debate. The department regularly goes to hear lectures at student conferences and, in addition, visits sites of historical interest; we have recently taken five-day field visits to Berlin and to St Petersburg.

Heads of Department: Mr M Seaton (Girls),  Dr J Harrison (Boys).

Course content

Board: AQA   A level Syllabus Code: 7042

The A level is a two year course consisting of one Breadth Study, a Depth Study and an Historical Investigation. A lot of students take A level History and we would plan to run at least three courses (each made up of a British and non-British paper) from the options below:

Component 1: Breadth Study
Stuart Britain and the Crisis of Monarchy, 1603-1715, OR Russia in the Age of Absolutism and Enlightenment 1682-1796, OR Tudor Britain 1485-1603

Component 2: Depth Study
The Birth of the USA 1760-1801 OR Wars and Welfare: Britain in Transition 1906- 1957

Component 3: Historical Investigation
A personal study based on any topic of the student’s choice.

Method of assessment

Component 1: Written exam 2 hours 30 minutes.
Three questions (one compulsory source question), 80 marks, 40% of A level.

Component 2: Written exam, 2 hours 30 minutes.
Three questions (one compulsory), 80 marks, 40% of A level

Component 3: Historical Investigation.
3000-3500 words, 40 marks, 20% of A level.