A Level

Awarding Body: Pearson

Course Description

History is one of the group of highly regarded A Levels preferred by the top universities. A greater knowledge of history will provide you with a more sophisticated understanding of current national and international affairs. It teaches you many transferable skills as well as fascinating content and works well with Politics and a whole range of A Level subjects.

Grade 5 or above in GCSE English Language and Grade 4 or above in GCSE History if taken at GCSE.

As an international student you must:

  • Demonstrate a suitable level of academic English, normally at CEFR level B1. For Student Visa applications Portsmouth College recommends a minimum IELTS score of 5.5 overall (with no component lower than 5) to best succeed in your studies.
  • Demonstrate that you are competent to study at Level 3 in your chosen subjects during your application, including certificates of your qualifications and subject specific requirements such as evidence of an art portfolio for entry on to one of our Art courses.
  • Successfully complete a Skype interview with the College to discuss and assess your subject choices.

Topics studied in the first year include: Germany between 1918-89 and Italy 1911-46. In the second year, students have the option of studying either the ‘British Experience of Warfare’ from 1790-1918 or ‘Rebellion and Disorder under the Tudors’ from 1485-1603. You will also be required to conduct an Individual Research Extended Essay which will focus on a particular historical debate. The main debate usually studied is Germany’s responsibility for the outbreak of World War I.

During the course you will develop many valuable and transferable skills in areas such as research, analysis, evaluation and presentation styles, as well as developing in-depth knowledge of the historical periods and themes covered as part of the course.

80% final exam / 20% extended research essay

Students will get the opportunity to participate in a range of visits which will complement their academic studies, as well as preparing them for their future progression onto university and employment. Recent visits have included residential trips to Berlin and Rome, as well as the chance to attend local visits to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the University of Portsmouth ‘Taster Days’. The E6 Programme will help prepare you for your next steps after College, whether this takes you onto university or in employment.

History is widely respected by universities and employers as a rigorous academic “facilitating” subject, which provides students with a range of essential skills to help ensure they progress seamlessly into the world of higher education and work. A level History students have gone onto read a wide range of degree level subjects at university, including history, law, politics, English literature, economics and geography. History graduates go onto carve successful careers in a broad range of job areas, such as journalism, teaching, the legal profession, business and tourism. However, you do not need to be considering a university degree to take A level History.

Mock exams will be announced to help you prepare for the final exams.