History A-Level at The Swan

The study of history at The Swan prepares you for every possible future. You will gain a highly respected and flexible qualification for your progression into higher education, but also you will gain an understanding of the world as it is.

The A-Level course intentionally focuses on the periods of intense upheaval, persecution and revolution which gave birth to the modern world. Students who study history at The Swan will benefit from a curriculum planned and resourced by a team of experienced history specialists.

Your teachers are widely read and committed to excellent evidence based lessons. A-Level history students will be encouraged to take advantage of the varied enrichment opportunities that Oxford has to offer, for example: lectures, debates and essay writing competitions.

A student who wishes to study history at the Swan should have an insatiable appetite for knowledge, which they will want to share and develop, and a curiosity that motivates them to ask incisive questions. The study of history at Swan is your world, explained.

6 in GCSE History
6 in GCSE English Literature or Language

AQA A-Level History (7042)

Component 1: Breadth study (30% of A Level, 2h 30m exam)

1D Stuart Britain and the Crisis of Monarchy, 1603–1702

This unit covers:

  • The challenges to the absolutist monarchy of the early Stuart monarchs in religious, political and social terms
  • The revolution and upheaval of the First and Second Civil Wars
  • The challenges to, and failure of, the post war political settlement
  • The restoration of the monarchy after 1660
  • The growth of parties and ministers in the British political system
  • The Act of Settlement and the solidification of the modern political dynamics between the monarch, parliament and government


Component 2: Depth study (30% of A Level, 2h 30m exam)

2H France in Revolution, 1774–1815

This unit covers:

  • The origins of the French Revolution under the Ancien Régime in the 1770s
  • The experiments with a constitutional monarchy in an attempt to avert revolution in the 1790s
  • The execution of the king, rise of Robespierre and the Terror
  • The reaction to the Terror and the rise of Napoleon 
  • The Coup of Brumaire and the establishment of the French Empire
  • The impact of Napoleon on the wider world up to 1815


Component 3: Historical investigation Non-Exam Assessment (20% 3500-4500 word essay written in Yr 13)

Interpretations of the causes of the Witch Hunts in Early Modern Europe 1540-1660. This unit covers the many and varied explanations for the period of intense witch hunting that took place in Europe in the Early Modern Period. 

This unit covers:

  • The various historical interpretations which attempt to explain the hysterical hunt for witches
  • Contemporary beliefs and maleficia, the devil and women
  • The sources produced at the time concerning the ideas around witchcraft
  • A range of historians who have discussed and argued about the causes of the witch hunts