History is an engaging and crucial subject. Without knowledge of where we have been we can't understand where we are or where we are going. Studying history at The Hermitage is an exciting and rewarding experience. Students benefit from seminar style lessons that are excellent preparation for higher education. The history department has close links with the Institute of Education and the Holocaust Educational Trust. Annually, two History students have applied to become Holocaust Educational Ambassadors which includes; seminars, a trip to Auschwitz and a project designed for the lower school.

History is the study of the sum of human experience. It is concerned with the past and its present legacy. By looking at the history of different cultures, you can build a strong understanding of why certain people act the way they do. For instance, by looking at the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict we can see why tensions continued in the Middle East and remain today. Studying History provides you with skills that aren't confined to the study of the past. Skills of analysis are invaluable in many jobs, and the ability to analyse and prioritise information is vital to decision making.

History has shaped how we live today and each event has a ripple effect across time.
Abigail McBride, Year 13 student
History has helped me develop analytical and research skills that will help me in all aspects of my future.
Olivia Southern, Year 12 student
A level history helps students to question sources more and in turn improves critical thinking. A level history is a challenge, but the friendly and helpful nature of our dedicated history teachers, makes the subject easier and fun.
Ethan Siou, Year 12 student


A level History

Awarding body OCR

Entry requirements

GCSE at Grade 5 or above in both maths and English. Grade 5 or above in History.

Year 12

History consists of three units that are externally assessed and one unit that is assessed by the centre and externally moderated by OCR. This is the coursework which is worth 20% of the overall A level.

Unit 1 England 1485–1558: the Early Tudors (Enquiry topic: Mid Tudor Crises 1547–1558). The Early Tudors is a substantial and coherent element of British History. The enquiry is a source-based study focusing on the reigns of Edward VI and Mary I.

Unit 2 is a coherent period of non-British History. In this unit, students study Democracy and Dictatorships in Germany 1919–1963.

Year 13

Unit 3 The Middle East 1908–2011: Ottomans to Arab Spring comprises a thematic study over a period of more than 100 years. Students will develop the ability to treat the whole period thematically, and to use their detailed knowledge to evaluate interpretations of the specified key events, individuals or issues.

Unit 4 is the topic based essay (coursework). Students will complete a 3000–4000 word essay which is internally assessed.


Unit 1: Written exam at the end of Y13. It is worth 50 marks and 25% of the total A Level.

Unit 2: Written exam at the end of Y13. It is worth 30 marks and is 15% of total A level.

Unit 3: Written exam at the end of Y13. It is worth 80 marks and is 40% of total A level.

Unit 4: 3000–4000 word coursework. It is worth 40 marks and 20% of total A level.

Why study history?

History is one of the Russell Group universities’ ‘facilitating’ subjects — so called because choosing them at A-level allows a wide range of options for degree study. One of the most flexible of qualifications, History provides an excellent pathway to degrees such as History, Law, English and Philosophy, and beyond that to a range of interesting careers. History is of particular value to those hoping to pursue careers in; teaching, journalism, civil service, law and criminal investigation.

I believe that studying History at A-level allows us to challenge our opinions and viewpoints, making us justify our moral and ethical views. Due to the turbulent climate that we find ourselves in, as a young person it is now even more important to challenge the views of our predecessors as well as understand...
Holly Frankland, Year 13 student