History is a popular subject at Blenheim with many opting to continue thier studies at A Level. As a facilitating subject our students have gone on to study History or similar subjects at university including the University of Warwick, Edinburgh and Oxford. 

Our aim in the History department is for students to make excellent progress, enabling them to learn from the mistakes of the past and to develop into questioning, curious, imaginative, informed members of a democratic society.




A level History

Course Details

A level History comprises of four units of study. Students will explore the following topic areas:

  • Paper One - British period studies (1930-1997) - This module will develop both extended writing skills and skills of historical enquiry. This unit explores questions such as: How well did Churchill handle the Second World War? What was Churchill’s relationship like with other wartime leaders? What was post-war Britain like?  This unit also encompasses the study of the Thatcher years and British politics up to the Blair years in 1997.
  • Paper Two - The Cold War in Asia (1945-1993)- students will seek out answers to question such as 'why did superpower relations deteriorate after World War Two? and why did Communism spread across post war Asia? This unit will give students an opportunity to study History within the context of a new continent and develop extended writing skills. 
  • Paper Three - The Challenge of German Nationalism (1789-1919) - This module will develop skills of writing thematic themed essays, focusing on making links and comparisons between different time periods. This unit explores issues such as how a unified Germany developed a sense of nationalism and the key people and events which contributed towards this.
  • Coursework - This is an independent investigation of an historical issue.  Students may be able to choose a particular area of history which complements their exam units or is of a particular personal interest to them. 
Link to course specification


Exam (1.5 hrs)

British period studies (1930-1997)

25% of the


Exam (1 hrs)

The Cold War in Asia (1945-1993)

15% of the


Exam (2.5 hrs)

The Challenge of German Nationalism (1789-1919)

40% of the



Independent historical investigation.

20% of the


Enrichment opportunities

Students have the opportunity to attend an A level lecture day about modern British History and hear top university lecturers and experts in their field speak. Each year two scholars are also given the opportunity to take part in an exceptional enrichment project, Lessons from Auschwitz. This programme includes a talk and Q&A from a survivor and from 2022 the one day visit to the former Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau returns.

Student quotes

“History at sixth form is different to GCSE. You have lots of opportunities to present your ideas in class debates and discussions. The topics are interesting, and you learn to develop your ideas and arguments about these fascinating topics.”

“A level History is really interesting, we have learnt things that have helped contribute to my general knowledge and everyday life. It’s more than just learning about what happened in the past.” 


History is a well-respected A level choice for any course at university. Past Blenheim history students have gone on to study degree courses such as History, Law, History and Philosophy, Criminology and English… but the possibilities of what the subject will lead on to are endless!

With an A level in History you can make many career choices; law, accountancy, management consultancy, teaching, the Civil Service, PR, journalism and the media often look favourably on Historians because they will have developed sharp, critical minds and are able to analyse material quickly and intelligently. 


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