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There are 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. 

Course content

Course 1: Early Modern World (Exam Board; OCR)

1st Year: England & African Kingdoms

Paper 1

England 1485-1558: The Early Tudors

Paper 2

African Kingdoms c1400-c1800

2nd Year: Witchcraze & The English Civil War

Paper 3

Popular culture and the Witchcraze in the 16th and 17th Centuries.


The English Civil War, 1642 to 1645

Course 2: Modern World – Communist States (Exam Board; Edexcel)

Pathway 2      1st Year - Russia & China

Paper 1

Russia,1917–91: From Lenin to Yeltsin

Paper 2

Mao’s China, 1947–76

2nd Year

Paper 3

The British experience of warfare, c1790–1918


Stalin’s Purges

Course 3: Modern World – Democracies in Change (Exam Board; Edexcel)

1st Year - Britain & USA

Paper 1

Britain transformed, 1918–97

Paper 2

Twentieth Century USA

2nd Year

Paper 3

The British experience of warfare, c1790–1918


Impact of the New Deal

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 Oxford for Early Modern History, Tintern Abbey, and the SS Great Britain. We have also run overseas visits to Florence, Rome, Berlin and to Ypres.  Our students have also visited university 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 £30 for day visits and £350 for overseas trips. It is recommended that students purchase revision guides


Advanced 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

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