Exam Board

Additional Entry Requirements

Grade 6 in GCSE history (if taken) and English language. Grade 6 in an essay writing subject (e.g. English literature, geography) if History not taken at GCSE. Grade 5 in GCSE mathematics.

Course Content

Why history?
Studying history at Woodhouse will provide you with access to a fascinating and dynamic subject that deals with hard facts but varied and ever-changing perspectives. You’ll develop skills in written and oral communication, research, critical thinking, and evaluating both primary and secondary sources. You’ll work collaboratively with your peers inside and outside the classroom but also become an independent learner, equipped to cope with the rigorous demands of university study.
Many students go on to study history or a closely related degree course at Oxbridge and Russell Group universities. A good degree in history will allow you to pursue a high-powered career in various fields, such as the law, the media, the civil service and business. We provide many opportunities to listen to distinguished speakers, and various study trips are organised, including one to Berlin.
Course content
Britain in the 17th century was transformed by intense political and religious conflict that led to civil war, the execution of King Charles I, the abolition of the monarchy and the imposition of a military dictatorship under Oliver Cromwell.
The years after World War Two were defined by the Cold War, a prolonged ideological and diplomatic struggle between the USA and USSR which, in an age of nuclear weapons, at times threatened humanity’s very existence.
Before 1917, Russian emperors (or tsars) claimed to possess God-given authority. World War One created the revolutionary conditions that, in 1917, resulted in the overthrow of tsarism and the establishment of the world’s first Communist dictatorship under Lenin and his successor Stalin.
Mark scheme
Exam - 2 hours 30 mins - 40%
Britain 1603–1702 - 80 marks
  • Three questions. One compulsory with secondary sources linked to historical interpretations, and two from three essays
Exam - 2 hours 30 mins - 40%
The Cold War 1945–91 - 80 marks
  • Three questions. One compulsory question linked to primary sources or sources contemporary to the period, and two from three essays
Coursework - 4,500 (max) word essay - 20%
Historical investigation - 40 marks
  • Independently researched essay on an aspect of Russian history covering the years 1855–1953  

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on the headings below.

Why should I take History?

Take history if you love learning about the past, enjoy reading and formulating both verbal and written arguments.

Which universities do History students go on to?

Many students go on to study at Russell Group Universities, and the department has a good track record in getting students successfully into Oxbridge.

Are there any trips?

We usually run trips to study days for students to hear lectures first-hand from eminent historians. We have in the past run a residential trip to Berlin. We have looked into the feasibility of running a residential trip.

What extracurricular activities are run by the department?

The popular History Academy runs as part of Woodhouse Plus, and gives both history students and non-history students the opportunity to explore other periods and regions that are not covered on the A level history curriculum. The department also offers a military modelling club.

How do you help those aspiring to Oxbridge?

We run a bespoke extracurricular group in the autumn term to help prepare students for the HAT and for the interview process. We also keep in touch with Woodhouse alumni currently studying at Oxbridge and put them in touch with our aspiring applicants.
Mill Hill School
“The way history is taught at Woodhouse has inspired me to take it as a degree at university. Having teachers who are specialists within their subjects is extremely inspiring and evident in the passion that they bring to the lesson, which reflects onto the students. I also enjoy the wide range of conversations that our history lessons involve and the ability to make contextual links to my other subjects.
I chose to come to Woodhouse to be in a college environment that would better prepare me for university life. I have been able to study independently, taking time to further my knowledge in specific areas of interest within the course, something which is extremely valuable at A level.
I love the communal spirit that Woodhouse has. Even though the environment is different to a secondary school (in that you may not know everyone in your year) the ability to easily make a close group of friends who share the same goals and ambitions as you brings a real sense of community to the college.”
Hendon School
"I most enjoy the dynamic, interactive lessons that my teachers provide. I am always engaged in class and I think one of the reasons that history students do so well is that the department facilitates independent learning; there's always extra articles you could read or extra essays you could write! The course at Woodhouse has not only helped nurture my personal interest, but also further develop my skills.
I hope to study history at undergraduate level, and then complete a graduate diploma in law. History is such a useful subject to study at university because it has so many transferable skills - and of course it is enjoyable to study too!
I think Woodhouse is really good at preparing students for life at university; I remember the principal saying that the college acts as a ‘bridge’ to higher education, and my experience so far has definitely confirmed this. I knew that I wanted to study in an environment that was more mature and independent and I like that studying here is so different from being in a secondary school."

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