What is this subject about?

The course explores the causes and impact of new political, religious and scientific ideas which challenged established ways of thinking and acting across Britain, Europe and America in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It considers the rise and fall of royal power and changes in religion in early modern English society, and the emergence of the Nation State. It also investigates the witch craze in England, Europe and North America up to the eighteenth century. By studying History you learn about influential people and events in the past that have shaped the world in important ways, as well as the political and cultural ideas and religious beliefs that have shaped their decisions and actions.

What will I study in over the two years?

In the first year you will study the reign of Henry VIII and his children, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I. You will also look in depth at the causes of the German Reformation, the ideas of Luther and expansion of Lutheranism, 1517-1555.

In the second year you will study the witch craze in Britain, Europe and North America, c.1580–c.1750, considering the reasons for widespread belief in witches and the nature of witchcraft accusations as well as the growth of skepticism due to scientific discoveries and scandalous frauds that caused people to question long held fears. For coursework you will research different interpretations of Oliver Cromwell, who helped make England a Republic and ruled as Lord Protector from 1653 to 1658 after the execution of King Charles I.

How is the course assessed?

Assessment is 80% by examination and 20% coursework. The coursework is written in the second year. The three exam papers consist of extended writing in the form of full essay responses, source analysis and historical interpretation.

What skills will I need and develop on 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 outand how to evaluate and criticise arguments, interpretations and ideas.


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 a minimum of:

• Grade 4 in GCSE English Language

• Grade 4 in GCSE 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 run a ‘Past Paper Club’ offering additional support on essay writing and historical interpretation. Through ‘History Extra’ teachers give talks on relevant topics and bespoke skills clinics are run offering guidance on specific criteria. The department also run peer support groups and a range of external speakers are organised each year.

There are opportunities for workshops at Hampton Court and London conference and 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.