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History A-Level

History A-Level The Bedford Sixth Form

Qualification: AS/A-Level | Exam board: AQA

This course will encourage you to:

  • develop your interest in the study of history and its relation to the contemporary world
  • adopt an enquiring, critical and evidence based approach
  • reflect on and develop your own values, opinions and attitudes.

You must study the history of more than one country, study a British history option, and study topics from a chronological range of at least 200 years.

All students will be offered revision workshops as a core part of this course.

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Year one course content

Component One: 1D Stuart Britain and the Crisis of Monarchy, 1603–1702

This option will allow you to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the following key questions:

  • How far did the monarchy change?
  • To what extent and why was power more widely shared during this period?
  • Why and with what results were there disputes over religion?
  • How effective was opposition?
  • How important were ideas and ideology?
  • How important was the role of key individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments?

Component Two: 2O Democracy and Nazism: Germany, 1918–1945

This option provides for the study in depth of a period of German history during which a newly developed democratic form of government gave way to a dictatorial Nazi regime. It explores political concepts such as ‘right’ and ‘left’, nationalism and liberalism as well as ideological concepts such as racialism, anti-Semitism and Social Darwinism. It also encourages reflection on how governments work and the problems of democratic states as well as consideration of what creates and sustains a dictatorship.


Year two content

In addition to the continuation of Components One and Two you will also be required to conduct a historical investigation (personal study).

Component Three: Historical investigation

You will be required to submit a historical investigation based on a development or issue which has been subject to different historical interpretations.

The Historical investigation must:

  • be independently researched and written
  • be presented in the form of a piece of extended writing of no more than 4500 words
  • draw upon your investigation of sources (both primary and secondary) which relate to the development or issue chosen and the differing interpretations that have been placed on this
  • place the issue to be investigated within a context of approximately 100 years
  • be an issue which does not duplicate the content of components 1 and 2.

Additional information

What does this course prepare me for?

History is a rigorous, essay-based subject which provides excellent preparation for a number of career routes including further study at undergraduate level.

Its emphasis on being able to engage with and analyse a range of abstract ideas, concepts and evidence develops the sort of flexibility of mind which is valuable for a range of different professions. Indeed, the ability to be able to develop and sustain an argument with clarity and precision is a core part of this subject.

Course support and enrichment

All students will be offered revision workshops as a core part of this course. In addition, there will be opportunities for students to hear from a range of guest speakers, both inside and outside of the Sixth Form.


Students will be assessed internally on a regular basis, including through formal mock exams. There are two written exams and the submission of a historical investigation (personal study) at the end of Year Two.

The assessment objectives for the examinations are as follows:

AO1: Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate, organise and communicate knowledge and understanding to analyse and evaluate the key features related to the periods studied, making substantiated judgements and exploring concepts, as relevant, of cause, consequence, change, continuity, similarity, difference and significance.

AO2: Analysis and evaluation

Analyse and evaluate appropriate source material, primary and/or contemporary to the period, within its historical context.

AO3: Interpretation

Analyse and evaluate, in relation to the historical context, different ways in which aspects of the past have been interpreted.

Entry requirements

Standard entry requirements

  • At least five GCSEs at grades 9-4 including English Language and Maths (one Vocational or Technical qualification at Merit or above may be counted)


  • At least grade 4 (or Merit for Vocational or Technical qualifications) in any subject(s) that you have taken at GCSE and wish to continue studying at Level 3


  • Average GCSE (best 8) of at least 4 (38 on the old points table)


  • Grade 4 (or Merit), at least, in any subject previously studied
  • Students will take either 3 A-Level subjects or 1 Diploma subject with 1 A-Level
September 2024

Apply now!

Applications for a September 2024 start at The Bedford Sixth Form are open now! Apply now and achieve great things.

Please note: Applications will close on Friday 31 May 2024. Applications made after this date will be added to a waiting list.