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Examination Board & Course code: Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in History (9HI0) 

Why choose to study History?

History is a fascinating subject.  It allows us to explore the actions and motives of people living in the past and it helps us to understand the world we live in.  You should consider studying history if you;

  • you have an interest in the world around you, the society you live in, and how it has developed
  • you like learning about people, how they interact, and what motivates them
  • you like learning about different countries, societies and cultures

Essential student qualifications/Abilities

To study the GCE in History you need an interest in the world around you, an enquiring mind and the ability to weigh up different evidence or arguments.

Desirable student qualifications/Abilities

You do not need to have GCSE History in order to study GCE History. However, you may find it helpful, as the GCE builds on the skills developed at GCSE such as the communication of historical knowledge and the ability to analyse historical sources.  At least a 6 grade in GCSE English is desirable.  You should also be a student who;

  • enjoys discussion, debate and argument
  • can think for yourself and develop your own views
  • enjoys research and analysing material to check for bias and propaganda
  • can communicate your ideas and arguments effectively in writing


How is the A Level assessed?



Type of assessment


Paper 1

Written examination lasting 2 hours 15 mins


Paper 2

Written examination lasting 1 hour 30 mins


Paper 3

Written examination lasting 2 hours 15 mins



Single assignment on a question set by the school



Course outline  

The course consists of three externally examined papers and coursework.

Paper 1: Breadth study with interpretations

For this paper, you will study Option 1C: Britain, 1625-1701: conflict, revolution and settlement.  You will focus on the changing relationship between the Crown and Parliament, including the Civil War, the execution of Charles 1st, and the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II.  The option also looks at the key religious, social and economic issues of this time period.  You will also evaluate interpretations about the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

 Paper 2: Depth Study

For this paper, you will study Option 2C.1: France in Revolution, 1774-99.  This option comprises a study in depth of the causes and course of the French Revolution, 1774-1799, a tumultuous period of change for the French people as they evolved from subjects to citizens in a maelstrom of revolutionary activity, war and constitutional experiment, and one that would inspire revolutionary movements around the world.

 Paper 3: Themes in breadth with aspects in depth

For this paper, you will study Option 39.1: Civil rights and race relations in the USA, 1850-2009.  This option comprises two parts:  the Aspects in breadth focus on long-term changes while the Aspects in depth focus in detail on key episodes such as the work of Martin Luther King.  Together, the breadth and depth topics explore developments that have shaped contemporary America and remain a fundamental issue in US society: the changing pattern of race relations between black and white Americans, both in terms of civil rights and also broader social and cultural changes over a period that began with millions of black Americans in slavery and ended with Barack Obama as President.


You will complete a single assignment between 3,000 – 4,000 words on a question set by the school.  The assignment will assess your ability to carry out a historical enquiry, analysing and evaluating historical interpretations, and organising and communicating the findings.  The assignment will focus on an issue studied for paper 2 which will also give you the additional advantage of revising some of the paper 2 content.

Higher Education Opportunities

You can progress to higher education courses such as honours degrees in History, or to degrees in related subjects such as Law, Politics, English Literature, Economics or Geography; or to vocational qualifications such as the BTEC Higher National Certificate/Diploma in Media (Journalism) or in Travel and Tourism.

Many areas not specifically related to History, such as Medicine, also look favourably on History as a sign that you are a good communicator.

Career Opportunities

An A Level in History will give you a number of skills relevant to many types of employment, such as the ability to seek information and to analyse it in order to identify facts and motives and to present information clearly for others to understand.

The skills you will obtain through studying history will be useful in a number of careers, either directly related to history (e.g. working in museums, galleries, heritage sites, record offices and archives and teaching), or in areas such as law, journalism, libraries, national and local government and the civil service.

Essential Field Trips involving financial commitment

There are no compulsory trips but plan to have a trip to London to visit the Houses of Parliament and the Banqueting House to develop your knowledge and understanding of Paper 1.

There is also the possibility of a trip to Paris to link with Paper 2 and the Coursework element of the A Level.

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