Why study A-level History?

Everything happening around us today has been influenced by and is a result of what has happened in the past. History can help us predict what could happen in the future.

History is one of the Russell Group universities’ ‘facilitating’ subjects — so called because choosing them at A-level allows a wide range of options for degree study. One of the most flexible of qualifications, History provides an excellent pathway to degrees such as History, Law, English and Philosophy, and beyond that to a range of interesting careers.

What will you study within A-level History?

The huge range of themes and eras that can be studied within the context of History mean that specific content covered within A-level History will vary from school to school, and depending on the exam board followed.

Within the Edexcel specification however, some of the topics that can be covered include Lancastrians, Yorkists and Henry VII (1399–1509); Rebellion and disorder under the Tudors (1485 – 1603); The Golden Age of Spain (1474 –1598); The witch craze in Britain, Europe and North America (c. 1580 – c. 1750); Industrialisation and social change in Britain (1759 – 1928); Britain: losing and gaining an empire, (1763 – 1914).

What skills will you get from studying History?

This intellectually rigorous course is an excellent way for students to develop highly sought after and transferable skills. These include being able to effectively communicate complex ideas, the ability to research, analyse and evaluate information, both orally and in writing, and the capacity to make substantiated judgements, all whilst developing independent work skills.

What careers can studying History lead to?

A History related degree is useful for a number of careers, including teaching, librarianship, banking and commerce, the law, publishing, museums and art galleries and a wide variety of social work.

Top 20 universities for History
The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

1 University of Cambridge
2 University of St Andrews
3 University of Oxford
4 London School of Economics and Political Science
5 Durham University
6 University College London
7 University of Warwick
8 University of Sheffield
9 University of York
10 University of Glasgow
11 University of Leeds
12 University of Exeter
13 University of Strathclyde
14 = University of Southampton
14 = Loughborough University
16 Lancaster University
17 University of Aberdeen
18 University of Sussex
19 University of Edinburgh
20 University of Manchester


Below are real-life examples of what university degrees studying A-level History, in combination with other subjects, can lead to.

History/ Economics/ Maths University of Manchester Business
History/ Economics/ Maths/ Further Maths University of Manchester Law

For more details on the History A-level and syllabus, take a look at our dedicated factsheet