What do I need to study the course?


Previous study of History is preferred but not essential. Students must have a grade C pass in English Language and grade C or better in History if they took it at GCSE. History is for students with an enquiring mind who enjoy analysing different viewpoints of the past and can construct logical, well supported arguments.


What does the course involve?

The course followed is entitled: Revolutions in Early Modern and Modern Europe. Students will study this aspect of the course in year 12 and sit AS exams based on the content. In year 13 they will sit a more demanding version of the same paper. AS results do not count towards the full A-level. In year 13 students will study Civil rights and race relations in the USA, 1850–2009 as well as completing an independent study on the February Revolution in Russia.


AS History


Paper 1: Britain, 1625–1701: conflict, revolution and settlement

30% of A-Level

This unit covers a tumultuous period of British history that saw two revolutions, the execution of a King, Civil War, Republican rule and the Restoration of the British monarchy. This is the story of how Britain became the modern parliamentary democracy that we know today. In addition to the political changes within the country, changing attitudes towards social hierarchy and religious struggles will also be examined. Students will also assess the emergence of the British Empire and its expanding economy.


Paper 2:  Russia in Revolution, 1894-1924

20% of A-Level

This unit covers the collapse of the 300 year-old Romanov dynasty under the reign of Nicholas II and the emergence of Communist Russia led by Lenin. Students will study the social make-up of Russia at the start of this period and will trace the various problems that culminated in three revolutions- 1905, February 1917 and October 1917.


Paper 3: - Civil rights and race relations in the USA, 1850–2009

30% of A-Level

This unit is divided into two. Students will study:


  1. Aspects in breadth: changing perceptions of race relations, 1850–2009.
    • Students will consider the role of literature and film in shaping and reflecting changing perceptions of race relations, 1850–2009. This will be considered through examining books such as Gone with the Wind and The Help as well as films that includes Mississippi Burning and Malcolm X. Events such as mass migration into Harlem and the Watts riot of 1966 will be examined along with other pivotal moments to examine the changing geography of civil rights issues.


  • Aspects in depth: emancipation and moves towards greater equality
    • This part of the unit will consider the historical issues that shaped the civil rights movement from the emancipation of the slaves to the election of America’s first black President. Issues and events that led to inequalities black Americans such as the emergence of the Ku Klux Klan and the spread and continuation of the Jim Crow laws will be studied. Students will then consider the Civil Rights struggle of the 1950’s and 1960’s and how groups as well as individuals like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X sought to challenge these laws.


Coursework option

20% of A-Level

This is an independently researched essay of 3,000 – 4,000 words that looks at an area of historical controversy. This option has been chosen to enhance students’ understanding of the Paper 2 module as well as ensuring that students have studied the events in class before completing their independent assignment.


What next?

A-level History complements most Arts subjects and combining Arts and Sciences is actually encouraged by universities. A good pass at A-Level is acceptable for entry to most Arts degree courses including Law.

Links & Resources

Abbey Multi Academy Trust,

c/o Chapter House,

Abbey Grange Church of England Academy,

Butcher Hill, Leeds, LS16 5EA

Tel: 0113 257877


Bishop Young Academy

Bishops Way



LS14 6NU


Tel: 0113 273 9100  Fax: 0113 273 4216


Company No.: 07705552