History is a popular subject at Blenheim with many opting to continue their 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 -  Italian unification (1789-1992) - Students will follow Italy’s struggle to unify as a single country following the invasion of Napoleon I. Students will have the opportunity to evaluate how significant events such as the 1848 revolutions and the Crimean war were for the Italian states as well as assess the role of individuals such as Garibaldi, Cavour and Mazzini. Students will also witness the change in status for Italy as they moved from a fractured country to a member of the Triple Alliance prior to World War One. 
  • Paper Three - Civil Rights in the USA (1865-1992) This module will develop skills of writing thematic themed essays, focusing on making links and comparisons between different time periods. This unit explores the pursuit of civil rights in America from the Civil War up-to 1992. Students will assess the role of individuals, organisations and the government as they learn about the struggle for civil rights for African Americans, women, Native Americans and trade workers.  
  • 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)

Italian unification (1789-1992)

15% of the


Exam (2.5 hrs)

Civil Rights in the USA (1865-1992)

40% of the



Independent historical investigation.

20% of the


Enrichment opportunities

Students will have the opportunity to visit the Churchill war rooms in London as well as the Supreme Court and Houses of Parliament. 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 a one day visit to the former Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

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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