A Level: History

This is an interesting course designed to cover social and political history over the past 200 years. It will also develop your understanding of how British and world history have had a direct influence on the way we live today – our hopes, struggles and triumphs

  • The focus is on understanding the nature and purpose of the work of a historian
  • You will need to form a critical view based on relevant reading on the question
  • You will have to analyse and evaluate the interpretations of three historians
  • It will help you develop the independent research skills required for university and the world of work

Year 12:

Searching for the rights and freedoms in the twentieth century

Papers 1 and 2 are linked by the theme of a search for rights, freedoms and greater equality during the 20th century. In the USA the quest for political, social and economic advancement looked mainly to reform existing structures. In South Africa it led to more radical results, bringing an end to the racist Apartheid regime.

PAPER 1: In Search of the American Dream: the USA 1917-96 (30%)

You will learn about the dramatic political, economic and social transformation of the USA during an era, which saw this nation challenged by the consequences of inequalities at home and of its involvement in international conflict. It covers:

  • The changing political environment – Republicanism, anti-communism, liberalism and counter-culture
  • The quest for civil rights – of black Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans & gay rights
  • The changes in society, culture & the economy – the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, the emergence of the women’s liberation movement, the impact of immigration and popular culture

PAPER 2: South Africa 1948-94: From Apartheid state to ‘rainbow nation’ (20%) EXAM

  • This is an in depth study of South Africa during its transition from white minority rule to the free elections of 1994, a long and dramatic process in which South Africa changed from a racist and brutal apartheid state into a multi-racial democracy. It covers:
  • Life under Apartheid: segregation and discrimination, township and rural life and society
  • Resistance to Apartheid: the Sharpeville massacre, the ANC and Nelson Mandela
  • The growth of black consciousness – the Soweto uprising, student movements and Steve Biko
  • The end of Apartheid and creation of the ‘rainbow nation – international condemnation, revolt in the townships, leading to negotiation and compromise and Mandela’s release.

Year 13:

Poverty, Public Health & the State in Britain, 1780-1939 (30%) EXAM

This option concentrates on key developments in 19th-century British political history. It explores the ways in which the British state gradually, and not always successfully, became involved in taking on responsibility for people’s health and welfare. This happened in reaction to a rapidly industrialising society where thousands of people suffered in poor working and living conditions. Students will analyse the pressures for change and how, why and in what ways the Government responded. This topic poses a question that is still asked today: where does responsibility for health and welfare lie – with the individual or with society?

Historical Enquiry – Coursework (20%)

This will help you to develop skills in the analysis and evaluation of interpretations of history in a specific question, problem or issue as part of an independently researched assignment. The question will be one that has generated disagreement among historians.