A-Level History

Creating Independent Learners, Critical Thinkers And Decision-Makers

Exam Board and Specification Codes: Edexcel 9HI01

Why Study History?

History provides pupils with an understanding of the forces that have shaped the modern world. Study of political systems and empires that have now fallen gives important insight into our own way of life and the factors that could change it in the future. Pupils examine communist governments in the 20th Century, the origins of the Cold War and the development of the British Empire.

History is a valuable academic subject that develops pupils’ abilities to assimilate and analyse large amounts of information, understand differing viewpoints and perspectives, structure detailed essays that argue from evidence, and examine evidence to make judgements about its usefulness and reliability. These are all skills that enable university study and contribute more broadly to a range of careers including law.

History is considered one of the premier A-Levels by universities, defined as a ‘facilitating subject’ by the Russell Group of Universities. This means that the subject provides a gateway to higher study across a range of academic subjects and disciplines.

What is Covered by the Course?

History at KPS offers topics ranging over 200 years, from 1763 to 1991.

Communist Governments in the 20th Century allows students to examine alternative political systems and their strengths and weaknesses, the rationale and impact of revolutions and methods of control in authoritarian regimes. The 20th-century units encourage young people to engage with broader issues of government decision-making and develop an advanced understanding of issues of political economy.

A study of how Britain has engaged with the wider world provokes broader consideration of how the world is ordered today and how modern international relations are still influenced by imperialism.

Finally, the coursework unit explores modern international relations through the historical controversy surrounding the origins of the Cold War.

In the first year of A-Level pupils follow Option E – Communist States in the 20th Century. The theme covers the history of the Soviet Union (1917-1990) and the GDR (Communist East Germany 1949-1990).

In the second year pupils study Britain: Losing and Gaining an Empire (1763-1914), and complete a coursework unit on the Origins of the Cold War (1945-1953).

Related University Courses?

  • History
  • Art History
  • English
  • Politics
  • Law
  • Economics
  • International Relations
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Classics
  • Philosophy

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Kensington Park School Sixth Form,
59 Queen's Gate,
South Kensington, London,

Tel: +44 (0)20 7225 0577


Kensington Park School (Years 7-11),
40-44 Bark Place,
W2 4AT

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