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A Level Modern History

The study of History helps us understand and explain the past and is a fascinating subject. The research, evaluation and analytical skills acquired, are desirable in Higher Education and employment. Students will also develop their understanding of major world events.


In Modern History, you will study the rise and fall of the British Empire 1857 – 1967. This provides an interesting contrast to the second module – the rise and fall of Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918 – 1945. The third module is a Non-Examined Assessment on the USA  1763 – 1865, when the USA won its freedom from Britain then descended into Civil War.

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Start date: 08/09/2022

Course code
Level 3
Truro College
2 years
A Level


highly sought after by universities

develop research & analysis skills

passionate, knowledgeable tutors

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Friendly and enthusiastic staff

The History department is friendly, supportive, experienced, ambitious and hardworking. Achievement in this subject relies heavily on your attendance, punctuality and commitment to learning, both independently and within lectures.

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Highly respected subject

Modern History is a highly respected subject by universities and employers due to the transferable skills gained on the A Level course: including research, planning, analysis, evaluation and essay writing. It also complements other subjects such as Politics, Classical Civilisation, English Literature, Geography, Law and Economics.

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Part coursework assessment

Non Examined Assessment (NEA) accounts for 20% of the A Level. This suits students who don’t always do themselves justice in exams, due to timing issues or stress. The NEA also gives students the opportunity to research an area of interest from the USA 1763-1865, such as the impact of slavery, westward expansion and the Presidency or the causes of the American Civil War.


Unit 1: The British Empire c1857 – 1967.

You will study the British Empire through 6 themes including, reasons for growth and contraction, the role of the economy and the response of indigenous peoples to British rule

Unit 2: Democracy and Nazism: Germany 1918 – 1945.

You will study how a democratic government gave way to a Nazi dictatorship. It explores political concepts such as nationalism and liberalism and ideologies of anti-Semitism and Social Darwinism.

Unit 3: USA 1763 – 1865.

You will learn how American colonies won their independence from Britain, founded the USA, expanded westwards then disintegrated into Civil War. It explores concepts such as abolitionism and social justice.

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An A Level in History is highly respected by universities and employers. Our students progress to a variety of university courses including the University Centre Truro and Penwith’s FdA History, Heritage and Culture foundation degree.


Both years are assessed by formal written essays, with examinations assessing two components and one component assessed by coursework. Components 1 and 2 are examined by two 2.5 hour exams. Each of these exams is worth 40% of the A Level. The Historical Investigation (component 3) comprises an essay of 3500 – 4500 words. It is internally assessed and externally moderated. The Historical Investigation is worth 20% of the A Level.


All resources, including textbooks and lecture booklets are provided by the College.


Five GCSEs at grade 4 or above in appropriate subjects, with a grade 6 in English Language or English Literature. History is available to students who have already studied the subject at GCSE, as well as students who have not studied History at Key Stage 4. Students should be confident readers, able to write fluently and have a good factual recall. Students also need to be self-motivated and capable of carrying out independent research. Above all, students should be interested and willing to engage with the subject.


For further details please contact Fraser McConnell – fraserm@truro-penwith.ac.uk

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