History is all about people, their actions and the resulting changes. It asks why something happened, and requires students to provide an answer using facts. It considers a wide range of topics that address political, social and economic changes, and prompts students to reflect on and make comparisons between the past and the present.
History can help you, through understanding the past, to make better decisions and choices in the future – not just about your own life, but also about the future of your local community, your country and the world.
An interest in History and current affairs is a good starting point! You should enjoy reading and analysing information, discussion with others, and writing. Historians never accept information at face value. Your reading, note-taking and essay writing require a critical approach and a questioning mind. The former Russian leader, Nikita Khrushchev, said, “Historians are dangerous people as they are capable of upsetting everything.” Check newspapers and current affairs reports and you will find historians uncovering ‘truths’ about the past that can be upsetting, even scandalous. History will help you to understand why it has been so hard to make peace in Northern Ireland; why people think the House of Lords should be reformed; why there are still Nazis in Germany; and why it is so difficult to unite Europe.
The course is taught by very experienced teachers. In lessons you will undertake inquiry work, analyse a range of information, discuss and debate key questions, and work on small projects. You will use a wide range of materials from books to music. You will develop good writing skills for essays and coursework. You might attend special History conferences and meet historians who will help you to understand the latest research on the topics you are studying.
In the AQA History A-Level you will study two topics concurrently for the two years of the course – a breadth study and a depth study.
At the end of Year 13 you will sit two examination papers – one for each of the topics. Each exam is worth 40% of the A-Level.
You will also complete a personal study (coursework), which is worth 20%.
Key skills in ICT, numeracy and communication can be assessed through this course.
For all Level 3 pathways five passes (9-4) or more at GCSE's are required including at least Grade 4 in Maths and / or English Language. Grade 6 in History if taken and preferably a Grade 6 in English Language. If History not taken, definitely a 6 in English Language.
The skills you will acquire through A-Level History are widely sought after and valued by universities and employers. You might go into employment after finishing your studies and will find that your History A-Level is highly regarded in a large number of jobs. A-Level History is also very useful and valuable for anyone planning to study law, economics, accountancy, finance, medicine or English at degree level, leading to careers in the legal profession, banking, the Civil Service, television and radio, journalism, design, marketing, advertising and Public Relations (to name but a few). Other careers linked closely with History include art and building restoration, museum and library work, tourism and architecture.
With History you can only broaden your choices and improve your chances, whatever the future might hold for you.