• A Level 

Examination Board 

  • Edexcel 

Course information

History is a very popular subject at Knights Academy. Building upon the foundations of GCSE History, students study a range of time periods including British and international History. This includes change over time studies of 20th Century American History and also the British Empire. Additionally a depth study of the rise and fall of the apartheid system in South Africa is studied including the role of Nelson Mandela in creating a ‘rainbow nation’. In Year 13 students write a 3000-4000 word essay comparing Historians’ viewpoints on reasons for the loss of the American colonies to the British Empire. This coursework is worth 20% of the A Level and is fantastic preparation for University study. The remainder of the A Level is assessed through three exams in the Summer of Year 13. Although many of our students go on to study History at university it is also excellent preparation for students interested in a career in law, politics or business.


Year 12

Paper 1 – In search of the American dream: the USA, c1917-96 (30%)

• The changing political environment 1917-80

• The quest for civil rights 1917-90

• Society and culture in change 1917-80

• The changing quality of life 1917-80

The impact of the Reagan Presidency on the USA 1981-1996

Paper 2 – South Africa, 1948-94: from apartheid state to ‘rainbow nation’ (20%)

• The response to Apartheid 1948-59

• Radicalisation of resistance and the consolidation of National Party power, 1960–68

• Redefining resistance and challenges to National Party power, 1968–83

• The end of apartheid and the creation of the ‘rainbow nation’, 1984–94


Year 13

Paper 3 – Britain: losing and gaining an empire, 1763-1914 (30%)

• The changing nature and extent of trade • The changing nature of the Royal Navy

• The loss of the American colonies, 1770-83

• The birth of British Australia, 1788-1929

• Learning from past mistakes: Canada and the Durham Report 1837-40

• Nearly losing an empire: the British in India, 1829-58

• The Nile Valley, 1882-98

Coursework (20%)

• The coursework is based on the paper 3 section: The loss of the American colonies, 1770-83. Students will write an essay between 3000 and 4000 words analysing different Historians’ viewpoints.