History is like an academic time machine. Through study we can examine key events in our collective past and learn how they shape the present.
Even events from decades or even centuries ago still cause cultural and national divides. Be it the rise and fall of the Soviet Union or Napoleonic War.
Evidence of old rivalries or remnants of national or imperial concepts can be found all over the world, all because of something that happened long before we were even born.
Studying History at A Level gives you the opportunity to examine and understand major historical events that impacted our nation over the last 250 years.
Moreover, studying history will allow you to develop strong analytical skills as examining and questioning evidence is essential.
You don’t need to have studied history before to take an A Level in the subject. Prior experience is always helpful but an inquisitive mind and keenness to learn is just as valuable.
A Level History provides you with a rich learning experience which can lead to further study and a rewarding career.
What you’ll learn
The contents of an A Level History course varies depending on who provides the course material. However, the important thing to remember is that all A Levels – regardless of who provides them – are subject to the same set of regulations.
So, whether you’re learning about the reformation, the renaissance or the Russian revolution, your A Level is as valuable as any other.
The AQA course syllabus covers the following:
In the introductory module you will grasp the key tenets of history, as well as exploring various points taken from the last 200 years.
You will also look at British history and the process of change over time both in the short and long (100 years+) term.
Industrialisation and the people: Britain, c1783–1885
This module focuses on the social and political upheavals during the late 1700s and much of the 1800s. Including the abolition of slavery, Irish radicalisation and the political response to social change.
The module is split into two parts and will cover:
Part one: The Impact of Industrialisation: Britain, c1783–1832
Pressure for change, c1783–1812
- The British political system in 1783: government and representation; national and local democracy; Whigs and Tories
- Government: Pitt the Younger as Prime Minister and his successors; Pitt’s relationship with the King; the 1784 election; reform of finance, administration and trade
- Economic developments: industrialisation; the growth of cotton and other industries; changes in power; the condition of agriculture
- Social developments: the middle class; the industrial workforce; landowners; agricultural labourers and the poor; working conditions; standards of living; the Combination Acts
- Pressures on government: the political influence of the French Revolution; Irish rebellion and union; radicalism and opposition; party splits; demands for parliamentary reform
- Pressures on government: the political, economic and social impact of war; the condition of Britain by 1812
Government and a changing society, 1812–1832
- Government: Lord Liverpool; the Corn Laws and other legislation; attitudes to reform and repression; the economy; the repeal of the Combination Acts
- Government: Canning, Goderich and Wellington; legislation including the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts; the metropolitan police force; O’Connell and Catholic Emancipation
- Economic developments: continuing industrialisation and developments in key industries; agricultural change; economic policies and free trade
- Social developments: the effects of industrialisation; standards of living and working-class discontent
- Pressures for change: Luddism and radical agitation; the anti-slavery movement; Methodism; early socialism and the ideas of Robert Owen
- Greater democracy: the election of the Whigs; pressure for parliamentary reform; the Great Reform Act and its impact; the state of Britain politically, economically and socially by 1832
Part two: The Age of Reform: Britain, 1832–1885
Political change and social reform, 1832-1846
- Government: Grey, Melbourne and the ideas and ideology of the Whig Party; the Tories in opposition and government; Peel and the transformation of the Conservative party
- The Whig response to social change; social reforms including education, factory legislation, abolition of slavery, the Poor Law Amendment Act, the Municipal Corporations Act
- Pressure for change: Chartism; Irish radicalism; the Anti-Poor Law League; the Anti-Corn Law League; social reform campaigners including Shaftesbury and Chadwick
- The Conservative response to change: finance, administration and the economy; the Bank Charter Act; trade and business reform
- Economic developments: the railway ‘revolution’ and associated economic growth; agriculture and Corn Law repeal
- Social developments: conditions in urban Britain; changes in the lives of workers and the poor; unions and other working-class movements
Economy, society and politics, 1846–1885
- Government and developing political organisation: the development of the political system and party realignment; the emergence of the Liberal Party
- Government and democracy: Gladstone, his ministries and ideas and policies; Disraeli, his ministries, ideas and policies; increasing democracy; legislation
- Pressure for change: social campaigns, Public Health reform; Chartism; pressure for parliamentary reform; Irish Nationalism
- Economic developments: the mid-Victorian boom; the ‘golden age’ of agriculture; industrial and transport developments; impact of increased trade; the Great Depression
- Social developments: prosperity and poverty in towns and countryside; regional divisions; influences including Evangelicalism; ‘self-help’; trade unions and education
- The political, economic and social condition of Britain by 1885; the extent of democracy and Britain’s industrial position
Democracy and Nazism: Germany, 1918–1945
This module studies the period of German history during which democracy gave way to a dictatorial Nazi regime.
It explores the political concepts of nationalism and liberalism as well as ideological concepts such as racialism, anti-Semitism and Social Darwinism.
You will be encouraged to reflect on how governments work and the problems democratic states face and what sustains dictatorships.
This module is split into two parts are covers:
Part one: The Weimar Republic, 1918–1933
The Establishment and early years of Weimar, 1918–1924
- The impact of war and the political crises of October to November 1918; the context for the establishment of the Weimar Constitution; terms, strengths and weaknesses
- The Peace Settlement: expectations and reality; terms and problems; attitudes within Germany and abroad
- Economic and social issues: post-war legacy and the state of the German economy and society; reparations, inflation and hyperinflation; the invasion of the Ruhr and its economic impact; social welfare and the social impact of hyperinflation
- Political instability and extremism; risings on the left and right, including the Kapp Putsch; the political impact of the invasion of the Ruhr; the Munich Putsch; problems of coalition government and the state of the Republic by 1924
The ‘Golden Age’ of the Weimar Republic, 1924–1928
- Economic developments: Stresemann; the Dawes Plan; industry, agriculture and the extent of recovery; the reparations issue and the Young Plan
- Social developments: social welfare reforms; the development of Weimar culture; art, architecture, music, theatre, literature and film; living standards and lifestyles
- Political developments and the workings of democracy: President Hindenburg; party; elections and attitudes to the Republic from the elites and other social groups; the position of the extremists, including the Nazis and Communists; the extent of political stability
- Germany’s international position: Stresemann’s foreign policy aims and achievements including: Locarno; the League of Nations; the Treaty of Berlin; the end of allied occupation and the pursuit of disarmament
The Collapse of Democracy, 1928–1933
- The economic, social and political impact of the Depression: elections, governments and policies
- The appeal of Nazism and Communism; the tactics and fortunes of the extremist parties, including the role of propaganda
- Hindenburg, Papen, Schleicher and the ‘backstairs intrigue’ leading to Hitler’s appointment as chancellor
- Political developments: the Reichstag Fire; parties and elections; the Enabling Act and the end of democracy; the state of Germany by March 1933
Part two: Nazi Germany, 1933–1945
The Nazi Dictatorship, 1933–1939
- Hitler’s consolidation of power, March 1933–1934: governmental and administrative change and the establishment of the one-party state; the Night of the Long Knives and the impact of the death of President Hindenburg
- The ‘Terror State’: the police, including the SS and Gestapo; the courts; extent, effectiveness and limitations of opposition and non-conformity; propaganda: aims, methods and impact; extent of totalitarianism
- Economic policies and the degree of economic recovery; Schacht; Goering; the industrial elites
- Social policies: young people; women; workers; the churches; the degree of Volksgemeinschaft; benefits and drawbacks of Nazi rule
The Racial State, 1933–1941
- The radicalisation of the state: Nazi racial ideology; policies towards the mentally ill, asocials, homosexuals, members of religious sects, the Roma and Sinti
- Anti-Semitism: policies and actions towards the Jews, including the boycott of Jewish shops and the Nuremberg Laws
- The development of anti-Semitic policies and actions; the effect of the Anschluss; Reichskristallnacht; emigration; the impact of the war against Poland
- The treatment of Jews in the early years of war: the Einsatzgruppen; ghettos and deportations
The impact of War, 1939–1945
- Rationing, indoctrination, propaganda and morale; the changing impact of war on different sections of society including the elites, workers, women and youth
- The wartime economy and the work of Speer; the impact of bombing; the mobilisation of the labour force and prisoners of war
- Policies towards the Jews and the ‘Untermensch’ during wartime; the Wannsee Conference and the ‘Final Solution’
- Opposition and resistance in wartime including students, churchmen, the army and civilian critics; assassination attempts and the July Bomb Plot; overview of the Nazi state by 1945
The purpose of the Historical Investigation allows students to develop the skills, knowledge and historical understanding they have developed throughout their studies.
Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the nature and purpose of history as a discipline and how historians work.
It encourages you to:
- Ask relevant and significant questions about the past and undertake research
- Develop as independent learners and critical and reflective thinkers
- Acquire an understanding of the nature of historical study
- Organise and communicate their knowledge and understanding in a piece of sustained writing
Why Study A Level History
A Level History will equip you with analytical skills, research skills and improve your communication.
You will learn how to create and structure balanced arguments, communicate ideas clearly and approach problems with a methodical mind.
It can also lead to several interesting and rewarding careers:
- Academic Researcher
- Heritage Manager
- Historic Buildings Inspector/Conservation Officer
- Museum Education Officer
- Museum/Gallery Curator
- Museum/Gallery Exhibitions Officer
- School Teacher
- Academic Librarian
- Broadcast Journalist
- Civil Service Administrator
- Editorial Assistant
- Human Resources Officer
- Information Officer
- Marketing Executive
- Policy Officer
- Politician’s Assistant
A Level History can give you access to so many career opportunities as well as giving you a lifelong passion for studying the past and analysing its effects.
Studying your A Level History at Home
Taking an A Level through a distance learning provider allows you the opportunity to study the subjects that interest you, at a pace you’re most comfortable with.
If you’ve been out of education for a while this can be rather beneficial. Especially if you have work and a busy home life to balance too.
Distance learning providers do not follow set term start dates which means you can start your course right away. So you can start studying the day you enrol, and you can work your way through the material as quickly as you like.
Which means you could be ready to take your exams within a matter of months.
Moreover, online learning often uses multiple mediums to present the information. This makes the learning experience more engaging as you’ll learn from various formats such as text, video and imagery.
You’ll also be assigned an expert tutor to guide you through your studies. They’ll provide you with constructive feedback and be there if you ever need assistance.
Start your learning today
Studying A Level History is sure to be a rewarding course that can lead down an exciting career.
Stonebridge Associated Colleges is one of the UK’s leading online learning providers. Offering a variety of accredited A Levels.
We offer flexible payment options to help you spread the cost and an expert tutor to guide you through your studies.
To learn more about how to prepare for your distance learning course read our blog here.
If you’re ready to get back into education get in touch with one of our advisers or enrol online today.