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An award winning sixth-form college in the heart of Central London offering a wide range of GCSE and A-Level courses

The quality of the curriculum, teaching and learners' achievements is excellent

T (+44) 20 7409 7273
Albemarle Independent College, 18 Dunraven Street, Mayfair, London W1K 7FE
Albemarle Independent Private College in Central London


A Level Course Outline
(Route H: Democracies in Change)

History encourages students to make ethical judgements and to develop skills in reasoning so that fact can be discerned from propaganda. Alongside its broad academic attributes, history is a subject to be enjoyed as it provides a fascinating narrative and an archive of knowledge and human experience.

A Level History Specification

Jarrow Crusade - History A Level at Albemarle College

Component 1 (Breadth Study with Interpretations): The first two sections are straightforward essay questions, while the third section requires the analysis of two passages written by historians. The topic examined here will be twentieth century British history.

Component 2 (Depth Study): The first is a source-based question where students are required to examine historical evidence. The second section is an in-depth essay question. The topic examined here will be twentieth century American history.

Component 3 (Themes in breadth with aspects in depth): The first section assesses analysis and evaluation of source material. The second section is an essay question focusing in depth on one part of the period, and the third section requires an understanding and assessment of an issue that covers at least a century. The topic will be British parliamentary reform.

Component 4 (Coursework): Students will undertake a research project on a suitable period of history that is relevant to their wider studies. They have some freedom to choose their topic in agreement with their teacher and appropriate questions will be set for assessment. Students must be prepared to devote a considerable amount of their summer break studying this topic.

What Skills Will I Develop Studying History?
History is a demanding academic discipline that provides wide ranging topics and copious knowledge. It also helps students develop a broad range of skills useful for a wide variety of careers such as law, politics, civil service and journalism. At AS level, students are required to:

Requirements for Students
Students will study History for four 75 minutes lessons a week and will begin with Paper 1 in the autumn and progress onto Paper 2 in January. Students are expected to attend every class punctually. This is essential if students are to achieve excellence.

A Level Specification

Paper 1
Option 1H

2 hour 15 minute exam involving three questions
(30% of A-Level)

Britain Transformed, 1918-97
This is a broad study about how far Britain was transformed politically, socially, economically and culturally in the years 1918-79. It will also contain an in-depth study containing historical interpretations of the impact of Margaret Thatcher's government and its consequences in the period 1979-90. Students will need to consider many themes such as how war affected Britain throughout the period, and how the fluctuations of the economy advances in technology impacted on British life.

Paper 2
Option 2H

90 minute exam involving two questions
(20% of A-Level)

The USA, c.1920-55: Boom, Bust and Recovery (2H.1)
The USA, 1955-92: Conformity and Challenge (2H.2)

Students will study both options but they will only be examined on one of them. It will be up to the student to choose between the questions on the day of the exam. The first part concerns America's post-war boom of the 1920s, the Depression, New Deal, impact of the Second World War and anti-communist hysteria. The second part looks at the racial and political protests and the rise of partisanship between Democrats and Republicans.

Paper 3
Option 36.1

2 hour 15 minute exam involving three questions
(30% of A-Level)

Protest, Agitation and Parliamentary Reform in Britain, c.1780-1928
Students must study a period in excess of one hundred years and will cover the parliamentary reform measures which extended the right to vote, including Chartism, Corresponding Societies, trade union movements, Suffragists and Suffragettes. The impacts of legislation, such as the Great Reform Act, the Parliament Act and Secret Ballot Act, will also be explored.

Paper 4

3,000 to 4,000 word assignment

Students may choose any major historical period and focus on a particular individual, movement or event. They must study at least three reputable historians who have analysed the same topic. The student's work will be a critical analysis of the historians' contrasting viewpoints. The topic chosen must not cover the same area as the exam units.

Recommended but not essential reading:
There are two recently published works, approved by Edexcel, available for students to buy that specifically focus on the first two components:

Additional Reading
Component 1
Stephen J. Lee, Aspects of British Political History, 1914-95 (Routledge, 1996) - This is a more challenging text for the students who want to study this topic in more depth.
Norman Lowe, Mastering Modern British History (Macmillan, 1998) - This provides a very good overview stretching back to 1815 as well the period covered in this unit.
Arthur Marwick, A History of the Modern British Isles (Blackwell, 2000) - This is a thorough, more challenging text for wider reading purposes.

Component 2
Ron Field, Civil Rights in America, 1865-1980 (Cambridge, 2002) - This is a more challenging further text for students who wish to read more widely.
David Paterson, Doug & Susan Willoughby, Civil Rights in the USA, 1863-1980 (Heinemann, 2001) - This is a good, simple introductory text.
Vivienne Saunders, Race Relations in the USA, 1863-1980 (Hodder Murray, 2008) - A very thorough author whose works are highly recommended.

Component 3
Paula Bartley, Votes for Women (Hodder, 2008) - Thorough and balanced evaluation of suffrage movements.
Sean Lang, Parliamentary Reform 1785-1928 (Routledge, 1999) - Very good for source analysis.
Norman Lowe, Mastering Modern British History (Palgrave, 2010) - Excellent overview of all historical themes from 1815 to 1997.