“The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Course Specification

Studying history provides students with cultural awareness and an understanding of how to learn from the successes and mistakes of the past. History equips students with skills that are not confined to the study of the past. Skills of analysis are invaluable in many jobs; the ability to analyse and prioritise information is vital to decision making. There are a wealth of career opportunities available to history students, from media to business, research, law, education and government intelligence. Studying history endorses independence in young people and provides a skill set for students to be able to keep their career options open.

We follow the OCR exam board at A Level. Students study the topics below throughout Year 12 and Year 13:

Wars of the Roses, 1445-1509: the wars that inspired ‘Game of Thrones’! Fought between 1455 and 1485, the Wars of the Roses were a dynastic struggle for the English crown which pitted the Houses of Lancaster and York against each other.  Initially the Wars of the Roses centred on fighting for control of the incapable King Henry VI, but later became a struggle for the throne itself.  The fighting ended in 1485 with the ascension of Henry VII to the throne and the beginning of the Tudor Dynasty.  Though not used at the time, the name of the conflict originates from badges associated with the two sides: the Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York.

Tudor Foreign Policy 1485–1603: arguably the most famous dynasty in history, the Tudors were certainly a force to be reckoned with- at home and abroad! This theme focuses on the aims, methods and results of Tudor foreign policy. The countries of Europe each interacted with the Tudors in different ways, depending on the monarch, their religion and the direction of the wind (particularly during the Spanish Armada!). Their decisions made sparked attacks, rebellion, spy networks and espionage within the courts of Europe.

Russia 1894-1941: from the rule of Tsar Nicholas II to Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin, this period of time in Russia paved the way for a century of change for the world. During this period, Russia witnessed the overthrowing of their monarchy, a Communist revolution, isolation from the rest of the world and two world wars! We delve into the mind-set of the leaders of the time and track the successes and pitfalls of the journey to create a Communist society.

Coursework- you decide: This is your chance to immerse yourself into your favourite period of time. All students will conduct independent research to complete a 3000–4000 word essay on a topic of their choice, which may arise out of content studied elsewhere in the course. This is completed in lesson time and counts for 20% of your A Level.


All topics, aside from the coursework, are examined at the end of Year 13. Prior to this, students will complete assessments within their lessons alongside mock exams.


Students choosing History will need to have an interest in the past, and in developing a greater understanding. The course allows students to evaluate and interpret how History changes over time.
Many students go on to study History at university. There are a wealth of career opportunities after studying History from media to business and law, to researcher or government intelligence.


This course is available for any student with a keen interest in History. It is recommended that they have strong English skills and preferably have studied History at GCSE.

Head of Department
Miss Carew
Supported by
Miss Wedd & Miss Collings

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