Route One – ‘Authority, Ideology and Conflict’ (Modern Focus)

Route Two – ‘The Struggle for Supremacy and Equality’ (Early Modern Focus)

This course develops the analytical skills to help students make sense of our past and understand today’s world.

The History Department offers two A Level options or ‘routes’ for students, each of which has its own distinct themes. Route one focuses on the attempts of modern governments, states and ideas to maintain or extend their power, and how at times this erupts into conflict. Route two allows students to concentrate more directly on early modern history by examining the struggles of peoples and authorities for rights and control. For both options, the study of units will incorporate analysis of countries and periods in depth and breadth, whilst ensuring that a study of at least a 200 year period is achieved. 

What goes well with this course?

The obvious links are the other Humanities and Social Science subjects such as:

  • Politics
  • Classical Civilisation
  • English 
  • Sociology
  • Law
  • Geography
  • Economics
  • Philosophy

History complements almost any other subject.


History is an extremely well respected and valued subject by all employers, businesses and universities. Hence, History students and graduates are sought after in many walks of life including: 

Journalism, Law, Business and Professional Management, The Civil Service, Teaching, Heritage Industry and any profession which requires the ability to analyse and synthesise, write effectively and purposefully and argue and present a case.

History A Level at Reigate College

Course Content

Students will select one of two options to follow during their time at Reigate College. Both routes contain a breadth and depth component.

Route One – Authority, Ideology and Conflict (Modern Focus)

  • Breadth Component: The British Empire, c. 1857-1967
  • Depth Component: The Cold War, c. 1945-1991
  • Historical Investigation: The Tudors: England, 1485-1603  

Route Two – The Struggle for Supremacy and Equality (Early Modern Focus)

  • Breadth Component: The Tudors: England, 1485-1603
  • Depth Component: France in Revolution, 1774-1815
  • Historical Investigation: Civil Rights in the USA, 1865-c. 1980 

Educational Experiences

Course Specific Trips, Visits & Experiences

History A Level students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of course related experiences. In recent years these have included:

  • Berlin or Paris (July)
  • Hampton Court – designed to complement units on Tudor England
  • The National Archives, Kew – the official government archive to over 10 million documents spanning thousands of years and where the originals of the most famous documents in history are kept. The visit was an important and integral part of the A Level coursework

The History Department also runs a series of lectures by visiting academics to supplement the course.  These have recently included: 

  • Robert Priest from Royal Holloway University, on the French Revolution
  • John Wilson from the American School in London, on civil rights in the USA
  • Dr Markus Daeschel on the Partition of India

Activities Programme

In addition to course specific experiences, students also have the opportunity to get involved in the College’s Activities Programme.

Work Experience

All students need to gain an experience of the work place during their time at College and for students studying vocational courses it should ideally be linked to one of their subject areas.


A Level History is assessed via:

Route One

  • Breadth Component: The British Empire, c. 1857-1967 – 2 ½ hour exam, 40%
  • Depth Component: The Cold War, c. 1945-1991 – 2 ½ hour exam, 40%
  • Historical Investigation within: The Tudors: England, 1485-1603, 3,000-3,500 word essay, 20%


Route Two

  • Breadth Component: The Tudors: England 1485-1603 – 2 ½ hour exam, 40%
  • Depth Component: France in Revolution, 1774-1815 – 2 ½ hour exam, 40%
  • Historical Investigation within: Civil Rights in the USA, 1865-c. 1980, 3,000-3,500 word essay, 20%

The exam board for this A level is AQA.

Entry Requirements

All students need to have at least five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme. 

In addition, students should meet the following minimum GCSE requirements:  

  • Grade 5 in English Language, and
  • Grade 5 in History (if taken)

Students will enjoy and do well in History if they have a genuine interest in:

  • The world and the history of how it has developed
  • Communicating through speech and writing
  • Analysing and problem solving based on collecting and assessing evidence
  • Planning their own learning
  • Working with others and presenting and defending their interpretations and ideas

How to Apply

Applications for entry September 2020

Students from partner schools (Reigate, Warwick, de Stafford and Oakwood) should complete an online application under the guidance of their school.

All other applicants should download and return the 2020 application form.

All applications will be considered according to the College’s Admissions Policy.

Please see the Admissions timetable for information about the College’s enrolment process.

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