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Level: A level Examination board: OCR Specification: A level H505

History helps the student to understand the world that they are growing up in. Rather than being asked what happened (students will never be asked to describe events), candidates will be asked to think critically about sources and historical questions.

Candidates will learn to question, compare and justify their ideas. As a result classwork will regularly include discussion and debate. Beyond this, students will learn how to analyse historical sources and then to structure their arguments in well-organised and clearly explained analytical essays.

Course outline

There are three examined units and one piece of coursework in the OCR specification that we follow. In Year 12, students study eighteenth century America (The American Revolution and the establishment of the United States of America), along with a study of Britain 1900-1951. In Y13, students study how civil rights for African Americans, Native Americans, trade unions and labo(u)r organisations and women changed over the period of 1865-1992 and also complete a c.3500 word piece of coursework on an aspect of the Y12 American Revolution unit that is of particular interest to students, that they want to research further.

Course requirements (GCSE grades/interests)

Students are expected to have at least a grade 6 in GCSE History. Any student who wishes to take A level History without a GCSE in the subject should have at least a grade 6 in GCSE English Literature.

Opportunities beyond the classroom

The A level History Society offers weekly extension documentaries and discussions (as well as very good cakes). The library has a range of further reading texts, and in addition LVS Historians will have the opportunity to attend specialist lectures and debate online against another school.


Students will be assessed by examination at the end of the course. In addition, they will be expected to write a 3,000 to 4,000 word piece of coursework. This will be on a topic of their choosing from the Y12 American Revolution unit. Students should be reassured that they will get guidance and support throughout the year with this work.

Higher education courses linked to the subject

A level History is a highly regarded qualification that can open up many opportunities. The student will develop skills in research, evaluation and analytical writing. As such, universities and employers look favourably upon applicants with the qualification. It is required for undergraduate courses such as history and archaeology, and it is desirable for law and classics.

Careers linked to the subject

Career possibilities from having A level History include being a teacher, museum curator, excavator, researcher and lawyer. History is also a common way into working in media and journalism. The biggest employer of graduate historians is the finance sector.

You learn to challenge everything – that's the great thing. If in doubt ask why. Harry

Get in touch

For more information contact the Course Leader.

Name: Mr Bob Mignot