Overview

What is the course about?

The course focuses on America – civil war to civil rights – as well as on imperial domination across the world and the fight against prejudice - Nelson Mandela in South Africa and Martin Luther King in America. By studying History you learn about influential people and events in the past that have shaped the world in important ways.

What will I study in the first year?

‘In search of the American Dream: the USA, c1917–96’, which includes Martin Luther King and Civil Rights, Prohibition, Boom and Bust in the 1920s and 30s America, popular culture and media, and the changing Presidency, from Woodrow Wilson to Ronald Reagan. You will also look in depth at ‘South Africa, 1948-1994, apartheid state to ‘rainbow nation’, which includes resistance to apartheid, life in South Africa, the Soweto Uprising, Steve Biko, the African National Congress and Nelson Mandela.

What will I study in the second year?

‘Britain: losing and gaining an Empire, 1763–1914’ which includes the American colonies and War of Independence, the abolition of slavery, the scramble for Africa, and Australia, Canada, India and Egypt up to World War One.

For coursework you will research interpretations on Northern victory in the American Civil War.

How is the course assessed?

Assessment is 80% by examination and 20% coursework, which is written in the second year.

What skills will I need and develop in this course?

A wide range of skills are developed during the study of history including processing and analysing information, evaluating evidence, research and investigation. You will learn to argue effectively and intelligently, while empathising with and understanding the context of the lives of people in the past. You also learn about how to find things out and how to evaluate and criticise arguments, interpretations and ideas.

Careers

​What can the course lead to in terms of higher education and future careers?

History is excellent preparation for a large variety of degree courses, including History, Law, English, and Politics. A very wide range of career options are open to history students including Journalism and the Media, Publishing, the Civil Service, Local Government, Education, Business (manufacturing, retailing and other services), the Armed Forces and many other opportunities. Studying history broadens the mind and gives you valuable research, communication and analytical skills which employers and universities really value.

Entry Requirements

​What are the formal entry requirements for this course?

Aside from the general entry criteria that the College requires, you will also need to achieve at least a Grade 4 in GCSE English Language and a grade C in History.

You may still be accepted if you did not study History for GCSE provided you can show evidence of good academic achievement in other subjects.

Extra Support

​What extra support / enrichment activities are on offer?

The department hopes to offer a residential trip to America, and there are opportunities for workshops, conferences and London museum visits.

Subject combination advice

​Subject combination advice:

History is a firm foundation for many academic courses and career choices. Due to its strong academic base and broad skills, it works with many subjects. There are no prohibited combinations, but it combines particularly well with English, Politics, Economics, Classics, Philosophy, Sociology and Modern Languages.