Exam Board: Edexcel

  • How did Communism emerge as one of the most significant ideologies of the twentieth century?
  • How did Communist rule affect ordinary people such as workers and peasants in the Soviet Union & China?
  • Why did the Soviet Union collapse in 1991?
  • How did ordinary people, including women, gain democratic rights in Britain between 1780 and 1928?


Entry Requirements

You must have achieved at least 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above including Maths and English Language.


Is this course for me?

  • You enjoy learning about the past, including how people have lived their lives and the causes and effects of social and political, cultural and economic events and developments.
  • You are interested in current affairs.
  • You want to understand why the world is as it is and gain a better appreciation of your place in it.
  • You want to develop skills to look beyond the headlines, to ask questions properly and to express your own opinions.
  • You want to learn to absorb, analyse and assess a wide variety of information and viewpoints.


Where does it lead?

History opens the door to a wide range of degrees, including progression into social science and humanities courses at University, such as History, English, Law and Economics. For some careers, especially Law and Journalism, History is a particularly useful subject. It provides a background to our cultural tradition and a better appreciation of the present. However it is by no means restricted to being useful for these courses alone. Indeed many leading Universities also respect science students taking History as the analytical and writing skills gained from it are invaluable in any field.


What will I learn?

Year 1

Russia, 1917-91: from Lenin to Yeltsin

This unit covers:

  • Communist government in the USSR, 1917-85 (Lenin; the one-party state; Stalin; the purges; Khrushchev; de-Stalinisation.)
  • Industrial and agricultural change, 1917-85 (Command economy; the 5-year plans; collectivisation; Virgin Lands Scheme.)
  • Control of the people, 1917-85  (Media; propaganda; cult of personality; dissidents; cultural change.)
  • Social developments, 1917-85 (Housing; women and the family; education; youth; literacy.)

Mao’s China, 1949-75

This unit will look at:

  • Establishing communist rule, 1949-57 (Civil War, the communist party; the Hundred Flowers campaign; Korean War.)
  • Agriculture and industry, 1949-65 (Attacks on landlords; collectivisation; the Great Leap Forward; great famine.)
  • The Cultural Revolution and its aftermath, 1966-76 (Red Guards & Red Terror; the ‘four olds’; the Gang of Four)
  • Social and cultural changes, 1949-76 (Foot binding; women’s lives; education; culture; religion)


Year 2

Protest, agitation & parliamentary reform in Britain, c. 1780-1928

This is an exciting course which covers:

  • Radical reformers, c.1790-1819 (Extra-parliamentary protest; Peterloo massacre; Thomas Paine; Henry Hunt.)
  • Chartism, c.1838-c.1850 (The National Convention; the petitions; the role of Feargus O’Connor.)
  • Contagious Diseases Act & the Campaign for repeal, 1862-86 (venereal disease in the armed forces; prostitutes; Elizabeth Wolstenholme.)
  • The Women’s Social & Political Union, 1903-14 (WSPU; Emily Davison; the Pankhursts; female suffrage.)
  • Trade union militancy, 1917-1927 (James Maxton; Ernest Bevin; Triple Alliance; General Strike.


How will I be assessed?

Assessment is through a combination of coursework (20%) and exam (80%).


What activities can I get involved in?

You will have the opportunity to take part in trips which bring to life the topics you will study in the classroom. Previous trips have included visits to the theatre, cinema and museums. For example, related to the Protest module, there will be a trip to the People’s Museum in Manchester.


*We have made every effort to ensure that the information displayed is accurate. The College reserves the right to make changes and cannot accept liability arising out of, or in connection with any revision. 
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