History - Modern World (Communist States) has been added to My Courses


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Please note:

This seems to be a popular choice! This course is now full for 2024/25 and so you will not be able apply for it as one of your course choices.

However, you can join our waiting list for this course by emailing us at waitinglist@stbrn.ac.uk

In the meantime, please apply for an alternative course to go alongside your other choices. If a place becomes available, we will contact you and discuss whether you want to swap to this course back into your programme.  

As course choices change and students shuffle around, it is very unusual for students to remain on waiting lists and not get onto all of their first choice courses by the beginning of term. We will keep you updated!

There are 3 different History A-levels on offer at St Brendan’s, each of which covers a range of historical periods and different countries. Students select one course to follow:

If you are unsure which course to choose, pick the one that interests you the most. You will have the chance to change course before you start with us and in the first few weeks of the term.

In both our modern courses you will explore what the experience of warfare was like for Britan over a period of 150 years. This course focuses on finding out why Russia and China have such different forms of government and the events that led to their rise as global superpowers. 

In 2023 A-level History student progress was significantly higher than national benchmarks.


Course content

Edexcel is the exam board for this course.

1st Year: Russia & China

Paper 1

Russia,1917–91: From Lenin to Yeltsin

Paper 2

Mao’s China, 1947–76

2nd Year: Russia & Britain

Paper 3

The British experience of warfare, c1790–1918


Stalin’s Purges

Methods of Teaching and Learning

The course is taught by highly qualified members of staff. The mix of individual and group work encourages students to take responsibility and initiative for their own learning. Presentations by staff and students, group assignments and lectures by the St Brendan’s staff and visiting lecturers are incorporated into the learning programme for this course.


We run a number of enrichment activities including day visits to course related sites. In the past these have included a trip to the SS Great Britain. We have also run residential visits to the battlefields of Belgium. We plan to organise a trip to the Royal Naval Dockyard in Portsmouth each year. Our students have also visited Historical Association conferences to encourage progression to Higher Education.

Key Skills

Students will develop their communication skills. They will be encouraged to present and communicate their ideas verbally to small groups and use Information Technology to research and present their ideas. Written communication is integral to History A-level, including the writing of essays and source analysis.


The department is well-stocked with resources, including exam board textbooks. There is also support for student learning in the Learning Resource Centre, which includes books recommended by our examination board and a range of academic journals.


There are a number of visits available to students on this course. All visits are optional and may cost around £40 for day visits and £350 for residential trips. It is recommended that students purchase revision guides.


A-level History encourages effective research skills, the ability to evaluate conflicting evidence and helps students to produce balanced arguments. These attributes are highly sought after in a wide range of occupations and are particularly useful for careers in Law, Media, Politics, Accountancy, and Museum and Heritage work. The History department have built up links with a number of Russell Group Universities through our visiting speakers and our alumni. 

Where can this course lead?

Apply for this course

Find out how to apply for A-level History - Modern World (Communist States).

History - Modern World (Communist States) has been added to My Courses