About the course
Our history course focuses on British and European history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Through this we aim to stimulate your interest in the past and your appreciation of the importance of history in the contemporary world. We also aim to develop your understanding of the controversial nature of history and your skills of historical enquiry.
You will study the transformation of Europe in the 19th century through the creation of two new states - Italy and Germany. You will explore how this resulted from, for example, the spread of revolutionary ideas such as nationalism, war between Europe's great powers and the actions of key statesmen such as Cavour and Bismarck. The second unit focuses on British history. You will also study the relationship between changes in the mass media and wider changes in social, economic and cultural life in Britain since 1945.
In the second year you will study in depth German history from 1900-45. This will include the Kaiser's empire before 1914, the impact of the First World War on German society and politics, the Weimar Republic, the rise of Hitler and the Nazis and the impact of the Second World War on the Nazi regime. We will also focus on two historical controversies: Germany's responsibility for the First World War, and the reasons for the populist appeal of Hitler and the Nazi regime to the German people, in the years to 1945. The second unit focuses on the development of representation and democracy in Britain over the period 1830-1930 with a particular emphasis on the causes of change over the 100-year period.
Will this subject suit me?
If you have an interest in the world around you, the society you live in and how it has developed; if you enjoy learning about people in a different time and place, how they interacted and what motivated them; if you enjoy analysing evidence and debating what it shows, then history is the subject for you.
Previous study of History is not essential.
Personal study time
You will experience a mix of learning activities in class and will be given a variety of tasks and assignments to be completed in your own time. Over the course of an academic year you should reckon on spending about as much time studying history outside the classroom as you do in it. This will mainly be on assignments set by your teachers but you will also be encouraged to take personal responsibility for your learning through self-assigned tasks such as extended reading and note making.
A Level History
What students say about this subject
"The teacher is inspirational."
"I found the course so interesting that after the first year I changed my mind about what I wanted to study at university and chose history instead."
"The topic and themes of the classes are always clearly set out at the beginning."
"I was so pleased that what I was taught about essay writing in my first year at university I had already learned at College, this really boosted my confidence."
To study 3 A Levels: 5 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above including English Language and Maths
To study 4 A Levels: 6 GCSEs at Grade 6 or above, including English Language and Maths
Additional Requirements: GCSE Grade 4-9 in History (if taken)
Where can it lead?
A Level History is a highly regarded qualification. We have close ties with the History Departments at both universities in Sheffield but past students have also gone on to study history either as a single subject or in combination with others at a wide range of universities throughout the country. The historian's skills are also highly valued in a variety of careers including law, journalism, theatre production, teaching, business and public service.