History A-Level


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1) Unit 1-Russia, 1917-91 Lenin to Yeltsin

  • You will begin this module on the birth of political revolution in 1917 with Lenin. Lenin wanted to free the people of Russia to produce a paradise of equal opportunities free of exploitation, sexism and racism.
  • You will then look at Joseph Stalin who led the USSR between 1924-53. He led the country under communism but by 1930 Stalin began ruling Russia using terror, torture and mass murder. Today the number of people he killed totals between 3-60 million.
  • You will also study the fall of the USSR from 1985-91 taking a closer look at the social, economic and political policies of Gorbachev, Brezhnev and Yeltsin.

2) Paper 2: The German Democratic Republic, 1949–90

This option comprises a study in depth of the creation, development, decline and collapse of the communist East German state, 1949–90. For the whole of its existence, East Germany was a key focus of world attention as it lay on the frontline of the Cold War, where contrasts between East and West could be seen at their starkest. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the political, economic and social policies of the East German government in this period, and their effects on the lives of its people

Year Two:

3) Paper 3: The British Experience of Warfare, 1790 – 1918

Interested in the First World War – we will study the land on war and the land in the air. This will involve looking at the horrors of Passchendaele, the development of the flying ace and the role of Douglas Haig in conducting the war.

This unit also includes a study of how the army changed through time as well as looking at specific campaigns.

You will look at the nature of warfare during the Napoleonic Wars, Crimean War and Boer Wars. This will include the role of key individuals – Wellington, Nelson, Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole.

We will take advantage of the resources offered by the National Army Museum and the Imperial War Museum.

4) Coursework- Any topic of your choosing

  • You can pick any topic you would like for you coursework.
  • You will be carrying out independent research, assessing the views of 5 different historians on the topic that you have chosen.
  • Topics to date have included the Vietnam War, World War One, Civil Rights Movement in USA, History of Medicine, Nazi Part Popularity and also the French Revolution.

Trips and other costs:

  • Text books for each year are £25 from Edexcel directly although they can be bought second hand.
  • Trip to Reading University Library.
  • Trip to Berlin subject to uptake.

Career and further study:

Having a history A Level helps you to prepare for the research element of a university degree.  Its high level academic status also is a subject that many universities recommend you to study.  Careers that use history qualifications are accountancy, journalism, law, museum studies, teaching and librarianship but there are many more.