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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

HISTORY (Edexcel)

AS Course Outline

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


The new A-Level History Specification
At Albemarle, students will learn about Britain and the USA in the 20th century during their first year. This will consist of two components:

Students may sit these two exams in the first summer order to achieve an AS-level qualification. However, this will not contribute to a full A-level qualification. Students will need to sit more challenging versions of these two components in the second year for the full A-level.

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:

History also encourages students to make ethical judgements and to develop skills in reasoning so that fact can be discerned from propaganda. However, 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.

Requirements for Students
Students will study History for 5x 1 hour 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. There will be many assignments which must be completed by set deadlines. There will also be many opportunities to develop examination skills and techniques with frequent mock exams. There will be substantial materials provided for students throughout the course by their teacher.

Specification Summary

Component 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.

Component 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. Students will gain insights in the American political process, culture, economics and other wider social factors.

Recommended but not essential 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 the course.
Arthur Marwick, A History of the Modern British Isles (Blackwell, 2000) - This is a thorough, more challenging text for wider reading purposes.
Michael Lynch, Introduction to Modern British History (Hodder Murray, 2007) - A solid introductory basic texts that students may wish to purchase.

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.
Vivienne Saunders, Civil Rights in the USA, 1945-1968 (Hodder Murray, 2008) - A book more specifically focused the period associated with Martin Luther King.
Geoff Stewart, et al. Boom, Bust and Recovery: America 1917-55 (Edexcel, 2009) - Standard A-level text covering the earlier part of the course.

Students should also be aware of the journals History Today and History Review. These are highly recommended to students who have a broad interest in the subject matter and they also include articles about essay writing and applications to universities. Many of such articles will be made available from past editions.