History A-Level, EdExcel

The History A-level course follows the Edexcel GCE History Specifications 8HI01 and 9HI01 respectively.  Students study three topics (out of forty) ranging from eleventh to twentieth century England, Europe, Asia and America or any covering a similar chronological and geographical range, as well as undertaking a substantial historical enquiry of their own choice. The historical enquiry topic needs to be one which has generated serious disagreement among historians.

Historians evaluate documents and other evidence in the light of the circumstances in which they were produced while at the same time using the documents to understand those circumstances and how they influenced what happened. Students learn to extract information, ideas and insights from sources representing very different and at times contradictory views about the past and learn to organise the evidence in support of their own logical, coherent and well-substantiated arguments. Students hone their analytical and presentation skills through studying texts and writing essays. Above all they acquire imaginative sympathy which helps them transcend the boundaries of their own culture and see the world through the eyes of others, thereby gaining a better understanding of their own life and times.

How can History contribute to your future career?

A-Level History develops a broad range of skills, complements a large number of other subjects and prepares the student for many different university courses and careers. Complimentary A-level subjects dealing with human culture and society include Economics, English, Geography, Modern Languages, Psychology and Religious Studies. Relevant university courses also include Anthropology, Art History, Journalism, Law, Linguistics, Philosophy, Politics, Sociology and Theology. Historians are well placed to pursue careers in the law, journalism, other media, politics and foreign affairs but historical skills have a wider value in the job market. A competent historian is well qualified to plan and undertake research, identifying, summarising and addressing problems, and reporting on them concisely using persuasive and appropriate arguments supported by credible evidence. Such skills are greatly prized in a wide range of managerial and executive positions in business, the professions and public service.

Course of Study

  1. Breadth Study with interpretations
  2. Depth Study
  3. Themes in Breadth with aspects in depth
  4. Historical Enquiry

How is this course implemented?

The units are accessed through textbooks and specialist monographs. Topics are discussed and debated in tutorials and seminars and key issues are summarised in notes. The setting of essays and questions on sources throughout the course develops both understanding and examination technique.

How is this course assessed?

Units 1, 2 and 3 are assessed through examination at the end of year 2 while Unit 4 is assessed through a 4000-word assignment submitted towards the end of the course.


Contact Mrs. Kate Richards, Head of History for further information: kate.richards@parkschool.com

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