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Awarding body: AQA
Specification number: 7041 / 7042

Entry requirements

5 GCSE grades A* - C and an average point score of 38 or more.
Students will need a GCSE grade C or above in History or, if not studied at GCSE, a grade B in English.
Most importantly, students will need an interest in History.

Course content

The A Level consists of 2 units, a British unit and an international unit which start in Y12 (AS) and carry on to the end of Y13 (A2).

The British unit is entitled Industrialisation and the People: Britain, c1783–1885. This unit allows students to study change, continuity, cause and consequence in Britain during a period when it rapidly evolving and cementing its position as the world’s leading power. Students will investigate political themes such as how Britain was governed, and how democracy and political organisations changed and developed. They will also learn about pressures faced by the governments and how they responded to these. There are also economic strands to the course, specifically how and with what results the economy developed and changed. Social history is also present, for example how and with what results society and social policy developed. Finally, students will study the importance of the roles played by individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments.

The international unit is The Cold War, c1945–1991. This unit allows students to study the evolving course of international relations during an era of tension between communist and capitalist powers which threatened nuclear Armageddon in depth. It explores concepts such as communism and anti-communism, aggression and détente and also encourages students to reflect on the power of modern military technology, what hastens confrontation and what forces promote peace in the modern world. The course covers events and issues in Europe, Asia and the Americas, such as the origins of the conflict, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War and the collapse of communism in Europe at the end of the 1980s.

Additionally in Y13 students will complete a piece of coursework on South Africa 1887-1990. This unit will involve the study of South Africa with a focus on why the Apartheid system ended. Students will learn about the role of Nelson Mandela and analyse this alongside other factors (both internal and external) which contributed to the dramatic events of 1990.


Students will study history through a variety of traditional and modern techniques.  The development of skills and broad based knowledge is essential in becoming a successful historian.  Students will be expertly taught how to master top notch essay writing skills as well as developing strong examination technique.

Why History at Marlborough Science Academy?

History at Marlborough is always a very popular option.   The units studied are the historical passions of the teachers.  These passions capture the imagination of the students and often causes students to go on to study history at university.  

Expectations of students

Students are expected to be committed to their studies and to be making progress to meet the demands of History. Students will be required to take an active role in lessons, meet deadlines and carry out independent research; this includes wider reading around the subject.
You will need enthusiasm, curiosity and willingness to debate.

Career paths

History as a very well established and respected A Level which is held in high esteem by all universities including the most respected institutions, who all appreciate the challenge, range of skills and academic rigour which it requires from, and develops in students. Similarly, employers have a strong respect for History as a qualification because they appreciate the demands of the subject and they are confident students will have acquired valuable transferable skills as well as knowledge and understanding of the past. These include: Understanding of history and development as it applies to nations and groups of people; efficiency in oral and written presentation skills; detailed research skills; proficient interview skills and techniques; proper and accurate record keeping skills; critical thinking skills; strong communications skills.

History is frequently a qualification which provides a route into careers such as law, journalism, management, personnel work, public relations, the Civil Service and many other fields. This is evident in the range of highly respected History graduates from the presents and recent past: Nicky Campbell, Simon Mayo, Jeremy Bowen (BBC foreign affairs correspondent), Sacha Baron Cohen, Jonathan Ross, Louis Theroux, Marmaduke Hussey (formerly BBC Chairman of Governors), Brian Walden (TV interviewer), Melvyn Bragg, Gordon Brown, Alan Milburn, John Prescott, David Blunkett, Douglas Hurd, Sir Chris Patten, Kenneth Baker, Neil Kinnoch, Kenneth Clarke, John McGregor, John Gummer, Douglas Hogg, Dame Ruth Runciman (Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs), David Collett (director of VSO), Martin Gorham (chief executive of the National Blood Service), QC Michael Briggs, QC Michael Mansfield, Salman Rushdie, Andrew Morton (biographer), Alan Bennett (playwright), John Abbott (director general of the National Criminal Intelligence Service), Philip Bowyer and David Davies (Trade Union Leaders), Sir Howard Stringer (previous chairman of Sony Corporation), Sir Roland Smith (previous director of the Bank of England), Sir Robert Gunn (former Chairman of Boots), Lord Sainsbury.

Economics, History/International and Relations, Politics and International Relations, History and Archaeology.

History/International Relations at Oxford Brookes, Politics and International Relations at Kent, History at Royal Holloway, Economics at Loughborough, and Bristol and Archaeology at Bangor.

How to apply

Mr D Samsami, The Marlborough Science Academy.