A Level History

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The A Level History course unveils a fascinating treasure trove of characters, ideas and events. This online history course takes you through 300 years of European history, looking at the rise and fall of empires, and the rivalries, alliances and popular movements that shaped the Europe we know today.

In this A Level History course you will look into the past to learn about the people and events which made Europe what it is today. You'll start with British parliamentary democracy, and examine the conditions in 18th Century Britain and the need for reform. Then, you'll look at the changes in the balance of power in Europe, the emergence of mighty empires and their eventual downfall, and the origin of the First World War.

Closer to home, the History A Level course will see you study Britain's development towards democracy in the years before the Second World War, and closely examine the roles of the monarchy and the state in eighteenth century Britain.

Through your history study you'll gain an understanding of change over time and acquire a strong sense of historical perspective, detecting changes and continuities in the sweep of history.

**This course prepares you for the new Edexcel History A Level syllabus (9H10 Route D), for examinations in Summer 2017. This will be the first examination for this course. For more information on A level specification reforms please speak to our course advisors.**

Course Content

This course prepares candidates for the Edexcel History A Level syllabus (9H10, Route D), for examinations in Summer 2017 and beyond. These will be the first examinations for this specification.  For more information on A level specification reforms please speak to our course advisors.

This A Level History syllabus is structured into five individual themes:

Study Themes

  1. The growth of parliamentary democracy, c1785 - c1870
  2. Industrialisation and protest, c1785 - c1870
  3. Unionism and cooperation, c1785 - c1870
  4. Poverty and pauperism, c1785 - c1870, and Historical interpretations
  5. The unification of Germany c1840 - c1871


Study Units

There are five study themes which make up this A Level History course and they cover the Edexcel specification 9H10 – Route D.

The study options in Route D are linked by the theme of challenges to the authority of the state, which was manifested in different ways such as protests and the growth of nationalist sentiment. This period was one in which ordinary people, often with strong leadership, were instrumental in changing the nature of government in their respective countries. It was also a time of major political developments, when state authority in Britain and Germany was changed dramatically.

Studying two different countries will allow you to develop a greater appreciation of the nature of power and authority in the given period, and to understand the similarities and contrasts between them.

Theme 1: The growth of parliamentary democracy, c1785 - c1870 

  1. The unreformed parliament and its critics: the pre-reform electorate, parliamentary seats and elections; demands for reform, c1785–1820; the political demands of the manufacturing interest.
  2. Pressure for change and reform, 1820–52: economic and social distress, and popular pressure, 1820–32; reasons for the passing of the Great Reform Act 1832 and its significance; Chartist demands and the failure of Chartism; change and continuity in the new electoral landscape.
  3. Further parliamentary reform, 1852–70: the significance of the National Reform Union and the Reform League; changing political attitudes in the 1860s and the impact of the Reform Act 1867


Theme 2: Industrialisation and protest, c1785 - c1870

Students should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following research methods, scientific processes and techniques of data handling and analysis, be familiar with their use and be aware of their strengths and limitations.

  1. The impact of industrialisation: the growth of banking, investment and a new industrial middle class; the diversity of economic regions; the growth of industrial towns and cities; government attitudes towards industrial development.
  2. Working conditions: conditions in factories, mines and foundries; female and child labour; living conditions in urban areas.
  3. Industrialisation, protest and reform: the changing nature and effectiveness of industrial protest, 1785–1870; the significance of Luddism, and the Swing Riots; the Ten Hour Movement; support for, opposition to, and the impact of factory reform, 1833–70, including the importance of the Factory Act 1833 and factory reforms of 1844–64; reforms affecting living conditions, 1848–70.


Theme 3 Unionism and cooperation, c1785 - c1870

  1. Unions and their opponents, c1785–1834: trade societies and knobsticks; reasons for, and impact of, the growth of trade unions; government response to trade unions.
  2. New model unionism, 1850–70: the significance of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers; the founding of the Trades Union Congress 1868; government response to new unionism.
  3. The growth of cooperative activities: New Lanark and cooperative activities; the Rochdale Pioneers and cooperative economics; the growth of the friendly societies.


Theme 4: Poverty and pauperism, c1785 - c1870, and historical interpretations

  1. The old Poor Law and pressure for change: the implementation and effectiveness of poor relief before 1834, attitudes towards the poor and the influence of utilitarianism; financial and ideological pressures for change.
  2. The impact and effectiveness of the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834: the workhouse regime, less eligibility and the continuation of outdoor relief; nature and extent of opposition to the Poor Law.
  3. Changing attitudes towards the poor and pauperism, 1834–70: the impact of the Andover workhouse scandal on national opinion; the growth of charity and self-help; the significance of key individuals, including Dickens and Smiles, in challenging attitudes.
  4. What explains the abolition of the slave trade at the end of the period, c1785–1807?


Theme 5: The unification of Germany, c1840 - c1871

  1. Popular pressure and causes of revolution, 1840–48
  2. Failure of revolution, 1848–51
  3. Austro-Prussian rivalry, 1852–66
  4. Prussia and the Kleindeutschland solution, 1866–71
Entry Requirements

You don't need any previous experience or qualifications to enrol in our A Level History online course. That's because we believe in making home study - and a rewarding future - as accessible as possible. However, completion of GCSE History is advised.

Where will I go from here?

An A Level in History can be the stepping stone to a career or further studies in history, perhaps a university degree. If you wish to enter or progress in employment, you'll find your History A Level will demonstrate to employers that you have the ability to commit to learning, and have acquired good reasoning and analytical skills and an ability to absorb and understand facts - essential in practically every walk of life.

What will I gain?

This course will prepare you to sit the Edexcel A Level History Specification 9H10 Route D examinations from Summer 2017 and beyond.


There are four seperate assessments for the Edexcel History A Level syllabus (9H10, Route D), for examinations in Summer 2017 and beyond. 

There are three exams for the Edexcel A Level History specification 9H10 – Route D

  1. Paper 1: Breadth study with interpretations
  2. Paper 2: Depth study
  3. Paper 3: Themes in breadth and aspects in depth


These exams are set nationally by Edexcel. The new A Level syllabus will be a two year linear course with all assessments at one exam diet

The first available examination date for this course takes place in Summer 2017

Please note that you are responsible for making your own exam arrangements. You will have to pay an examination fee as well as a centre fee which will vary depending on exam centre.

Find out more information about arranging your examinations.

This course prepares candidates for the Edexcel History A Level syllabus (9H10, Route D), for examinations in Summer 2017. These will be the first examinations for this specification. For more information on A level specification reforms please speak to our course advisors.

What will I get?

Because we're experts in home learning, we offer all the support you need along the way.

You'll receive study materials that have been specially designed for distance learning by experts in your chosen field.

Supporting textbooks are not provided with this course. However, we strongly recommend students of the A Level History course source the following ebooks due to the additional resources available:

  1. Edexcel AS/A Level History, Paper 1&2: Challenges to the authority of the state in the late 18th and 19th centuries, Collier, Rogers and Kidson
  2. Access to History: The Unification of Germany and the challenge of Nationalism 1789-1919 Farmer and Stiles


You'll have access to an experienced personal tutor both online and over the phone, ready to help you with guidance and motivation.

You'll also be part of the ICS Learn online Student Community, where you'll have access to library materials and your account information, as well as vital links with your fellow students, with the chance to discuss your work, ask questions and make new friends.

Payment Options

You can either pay for your course in full or opt for an interest free monthly payment plan.

Speak to one of our course advisors now for payment plans.

Additional Fees

Centre exam and registration fees are additional to your course fees and these costs may vary according to the exam centre you use.

Find out more information about arranging your examinations.

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  • Course Code H76
  • Guided Learning Hours 320
  • Support Period 18 Months

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