A-Level History is a comprehensive course that immerses students in a detailed exploration of different historical periods, events, and themes. As part of the course, students get the opportunity to study history from multiple perspectives, such as political, social, economic, and cultural, and across different time periods and geographical settings.
The A-Level History course promotes the development of critical thinking skills, as students learn to analyze and evaluate different types of historical evidence, understand the context in which events occurred, and assess various interpretations of those events. The course also encourages the development of effective communication skills, as students learn to construct clear and persuasive arguments based on historical evidence.
The specific content of A-Level History can vary depending on the examining board and the chosen modules. Typically, it might include a breadth study, which involves a long-term overview of a particular period, such as Tudor England or the American Civil War, and a depth study, which focuses on a shorter period but in greater detail, such as Weimar and Nazi Germany or the Russian Revolution.
In addition to these, many A-Level History courses also include a coursework component or personal study, where students conduct independent research on a topic of their choice, resulting in an extended essay. This component allows students to delve deeper into a specific area of interest, develop research skills, and practice writing extended historical arguments.
Assessment in A-Level History usually involves written exams for the breadth and depth studies and the submission of the coursework or personal study. The exams often include a variety of question types, such as source analysis, essay questions, and interpretations questions, where students are required to assess different historians' views on a particular issue.
Overall, A-Level History is a demanding but rewarding subject that offers students a deeper understanding of the world's past, sharpens their analytical skills, and prepares them for a range of possible future paths in higher education and careers.
How is it assessed:
The AQA A-Level History (7042) course is assessed through two examination papers and a non-exam assessment. As of my last training cut-off in September 2021, the assessment structure was as follows:
1. **Paper 1: Breadth Study** - This paper assesses a student's understanding of a broad period of history of at least 100 years. It tests the ability to handle historical concepts such as cause and effect, continuity and change, and similarity and difference in a broad context. It is a written exam that lasts 2 hours and 30 minutes and is worth 40% of the A-level.
2. **Paper 2: Depth Study** - This paper involves an in-depth exploration of a narrower period of history. The paper tests students' abilities to analyse historical sources and to understand the detail and complexity of the issues involved. This written exam also lasts 2 hours and 30 minutes and constitutes 40% of the A-level.
3. **Historical Investigation (Non-exam assessment)** - This part involves a personal study conducted by the student, amounting to an essay of approximately 3000-3500 words. The topic is chosen by the student, but it must be different from those studied in components 1 and 2. This component allows students to engage in independent historical research. The Historical Investigation is assessed by teachers, moderated by AQA, and contributes 20% of the A-level.
Each of these components is designed to test a different aspect of a student's historical knowledge, understanding, and skills. The assessment as a whole aims to give a rounded measure of their ability to study history at a higher level.
Please note that exact details or structures may have changed if you're checking this information after September 2021, so always refer to the latest AQA specification or consult a teacher for the most accurate information.