GSO Test

History A Level 

Awarding Body


Assessment Structure

  • 80% exam (at the end of the course)
  • 20% Coursework

Minimum entry requirement

  • NBP16C level 3 entry requirements
  • GCSE (5) in English language and maths desirable; GCSE (4)

Why should I study this course?

History is the storehouse of information about how people and societies behave. Social scientists attempt to formulate laws or theories about human behaviour but they depend on historical information. History is our laboratory. It offers the only extensive evidential base for contemplating and analysing how societies function. History helps us understand change and how our society came to be. How can we understand the present and plan for the future if we ignore the past?

What will I learn?

Conflict in the Church 1529 - 1570:  Martin Luther’s actions in 1517 led to 150 years of wars and persecution that divided Europe and led to Henry VIII separating England from the Church in Rome. In England, this led to increased individualism and authority being questioned. This course is an in-depth look at the religious ideas and changes of Tudor England; changes that launched modern Britain.

Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855 - 1917: In 1917, Russia undertook the most audacious experiment in world history. Its new government, the USSR, created a completely new society that attempted to remake humanity. The Russian Revolution tore down the 300-year Tsarist Empire and sent shockwaves around the world which reverberated throughout the 20th century and on to today. We will explore why it happened, its consequences and what can we learn from it today.

America in the 20th Century: As part of your A Level you will also need to complete a piece of coursework in the form of a c3500 words essay. You will be responsible for researching a topic about modern American history and writing a fully referenced, undergraduate level essay.  

How will I learn?

Teacher–led activities, individual and group work, presentation and discussion. You will use textbooks, academic reading, primary sources, documentaries and digital resources in your historical research.  Guest speakers visits and visits to historical sites will give you a further experience of the subject. You will be formally assessed through extended writing answers and essays.

What can I do with my qualification?

The number of explicit professional jobs for historians is considerable, but law, journalism and public policy are common areas of employment. Students of history acquire a broad perspective that gives them the range and flexibility required in many work situations. They develop research skills, the ability to find and evaluate sources of information, and the means to evaluate diverse interpretations. History also improves writing and speaking skills.

What do students say?

“Choosing history is the best decision I ever made.”

“I’m so sad my A-Level history course is finishing. I want it to go on forever!”