Geneva English School
Historians are best placed to make sense of our rapidly changing world. No other discipline deals so centrally with change as history does. Historians also grapple with causation. For any of the questions we might ask about the present – what prompted the Brexit vote or the emergence of Trump-like populism? – history gives us a grounding in how to answer them.
The past itself is inherently fascinating – no matter what you find interesting, everything has a history. We can study the history of food, health and emotions; the history of ideas, sexuality and the environment; as well as more traditional political and socio-economic topics.
There are many skills that historians share with other disciplines. Historians handle evidence, construct arguments, deal with ambiguity and assess conflicting interpretations, all to a high level.
Our A Level course is made up of two units, which are studied over both years 12 and 13:
A depth study on the Transformation of China (1936-1997) and a breadth study of the late British Empire, 1857-1967, which explores Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Our course has been designed to have a wide international scope. It will provide an understanding of the forces that have shaped the modern world.
In addition, you will complete an extended historical investigation as coursework. This should take the form of a question in the context of approximately 100 years. This is a fantastic opportunity to develop your own interests and will be great preparation for researching and writing essays at university level. You will engage with a wide range of historical interpretations, and with the sources that historians have used as evidence to answer their questions about the past.
Inspirational Starting Point
Maoism – A Global History by Julia Lovell
Broaden your knowledge of global history by reading, for example, Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari or The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan.
Deepen your understanding of a topic that interests you – start by listening to a few podcasts for ideas (e.g.: You’re Dead to Me, History Extra, In Our Time) or watching some historical films.
Then find out more: ask for reading recommendations, complete a course through FutureLearn or the Open University and immerse yourself in the literature, art and music of the time.
The disciplinary skills of a historian can lead anywhere: the ability to analyse critically and communicate clearly are invaluable in a wide range of subjects and career paths. Moreover, studying history encourages us to ask and answer important questions about our increasingly complex world. As such, History A Level is valuable not only in its own right, but also as a ‘facilitating’ subject for other degree courses. Further study in History is highly respected and the skills it develops are transferable. While some History graduates pursue careers in history-specific fields (such as research, heritage and conservation), they can be found in a wide range of professional fields, including:
- Management (business, science and the arts)
- Media and journalism
- Entrance Criteria
- Exam board & Specification