Pearson Edexcel

History is very well respected by traditional universities. History courses enable you to have an understanding of the world around you; to evaluate evidence and form substantiated judgements and explanation. It also develops your skills of argumentation and analysis, which are very important skills in any professional job.

Students who study History are looked upon very favourably by the best universities. It is an important choice for students who are considering a job in law. Other jobs that History courses lead to are: media, journalism, forensic science, medicine, civil service, teaching and banking – amongst many others. Studying History opens many doors for students as the transferable skills gained are highly valued by employers.

Entry requirements

Grade 5 in History and Grade 5 in English.

Course content and structure

Year 12

Unit 1: ‘Britain Transformed: 1917-1997’
This paper comprises a study in breadth, in which students will learn about the extent to which Britain was transformed politically, socially, economically and culturally in the years 1918–79. They will consider responses to the challenges of war ,fluctuations in the economy, technological advancement and the desire for greater social equality. Students will examine a wide range of fascinating topics such as the changing status of women, the creation of the welfare state, evolving race relations and immigration policy, and the birth of popular culture and mass media to evaluate change in Britain across the 20th century. Students also study historical interpretations written by historians about the impact of Margaret Thatcher.

Unit 2: ‘Boom, Bust, and Recovery: The USA 1920-1955’ 

This depth study examines the emergence of America as a world power in the early 20th century through a political, economic, social and cultural lens. The first half of the course investigates the industrial development and laissez-faire economics that fuelled the 1920s boom, and the devastating impact of the Great Depression that saw it all come crashing down. Students will also examine social and cultural changes: Prohibition, gangsterism, flappers, jazz and the Harlem Renaissance. The second half of the course explores how far Roosevelt’s ambitious policies transformed the US economy in the New Deal era, the impact of the Second World War and the post-war boom. Through historians’ work and original sources, students will learn about the Red Scare, the growth of the suburbs, Hollywood, and the struggle for racial equality.

Year 13

Unit 3: ‘Rebellion and Disorder under the Tudors 1485-1603’

Students will examine the Tudor century; exploring the ways in which a turbulent period of English history was brought to an end, and rulers and ruled began a process whereby good governance and the rule of law gradually became the order of the day. Students will examine kingship, religion, political intrigue, rebellion and treason throughout the Tudor dynasty through use of historians’ work and sources contemporary to the period.

 Unit 4: Coursework on the main cause of the end of apartheid in South Africa
Students will produce an extended essay of at least 3000 words. This focuses on the work of three professional historians and their different interpretations of the historical debate around the main cause for the end of Apartheid in South Africa.


Three exams at the end of Year 13:

  1. Unit 1 – Britain Transformed, 1918-1997
  2. Unit 2 – America: boom, bust and recovery, 1920-1955
  3. Unit 3 – Rebellion and Disorder Under the Tudors, 1485-1603

Students also submit a piece of coursework on apartheid in South Africa by Easter in Year 13.


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