Specifications that use this resource:

Planning to switch to AQA?

Switching to AQA: AQA or OCR

We recognise that the introduction of the new linear A-level will necessitate some change. However, we are aware that the practicalities of resourcing the new A-level means that teachers will welcome as much continuity as possible. We are confident that the choice and flexibility of our new specification, together with sound assessment, will be attractive to many teachers who are not currently offering AQA History A-level. We are committed to making the transition to AQA as smooth as possible for you.

We have therefore put together this guide which shows where the content of our new A-level specification resembles that of OCR’s new Specification A.

Support

As well as great qualifications with AQA you benefit from:

  • comprehensive resources that will help you confidently plan, teach and prepare for the examination
  • advice from our subject experts
  • proven training to help you to introduce new specifications, improve your teaching skills or develop your leadership potential.

Content

Paper 1: Breadth study

Each Breadth Study requires the study of an extended period and enables students to develop secure understanding of the process of change over time.

1A The Age of the Crusades, 1071–1204

This option allows students to assess change over a broad period of time as it affected both the crusader states and the neighbouring societies. There is emphasis on the origins of the crusades and also the counter-crusades. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y203 The Crusades and the Crusader States 1095–1192.

1B Spain in the Age of Discovery, 1469–1598

This option allows students to assess developments in Spain and its empire over a broad period of time. It begins with the forging of a new state in Spain and covers the era of Ferdinand and Isabella and the reign of Philip II. This option contains similar content to the new OCR units Y206 Spain 1469–1556 and Y208 Philip II 1556–1598.

1C The Tudors: England, 1485–1603

This option provides an overview of the entire Tudor period. Its central themes include political power, religious change and foreign relations. This option contains similar content to the new OCR units Y106 England 1485–1558: the Early Tudors and Y107 England 1547–1603: the later Tudors.

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

This option provides an overview of the Stuart period up to 1702. The central themes include political power, ideology and conflict. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y108 The Early Stuarts and the Origins of the Civil War 1603–1660.

1E Russia in the Age of Absolutism and Enlightenment, 1682–1796

This option allows students to assess developments in Russia over a broad period of time. It covers the reigns of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. The central themes include political, social and economic developments and Russian foreign policy. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y210 Russia 1645–1741.

1F Industrialisation and the People: Britain, c1783–1885

This option provides an overview of political, social and economic developments during the time when Britain became an industrial society. A central theme is Britain’s position in the world. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y110 From Pitt to Peel: Britain 1783–1853.

1G Challenge and Transformation: Britain, c1851–1964

This option provides an overview of the principal political, social and economic developments of a critical period in British history. A central theme is Britain’s relationship with Ireland. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y111 Liberals, Conservatives and the Rise of Labour: Britain 1846–1918.

1H Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855–1964

This option provides an overview of the principal political, social and economic developments of a revolutionary period in Russian history. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y318 Russia and its Rulers 1855–1964.

1J The British Empire, c1857–1967

This option allows students to study the British Empire with particular focus on Africa and Asia. The central themes include the development of empire, the effects of imperialism and its eventual decline. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y320 From Colonialism to Independence: The British Empire 1857–1965.

1K The Making of a Superpower: USA, 1865–1975

This option provides an overview of American history during a critical period, in which the USA became a global power. It focuses on both domestic and foreign developments. This option does not contain any similar content to the new OCR units.

1L The Quest for Political Stability: Germany, 1871–1991

This option provides an overview of Germany during a period of political turmoil. The central themes include political, economic and social upheaval. There is a strong emphasis on the significance of ideology. This option does not contain any similar content to the new OCR units.

Paper 2: Depth study

Each Depth Study requires the study of a significant period of historical change or development and enables students to develop an understanding of the complexity of the historical process through a detailed focus on a specific period.

2A Royal Authority and the Angevin Kings, 1154–1216

This option allows students to study the nature of royal authority in the period. It places emphasis on social, religious and economic developments and relations with foreign powers. This option does not contain any similar content to the new OCR units.

2B The Wars of the Roses, 1450–1499

This option allows students to study a tumultuous period in the history of England. It focuses on political, social and economic developments during the era of the Wars of the Roses. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y105 England 1445–1509: Lancastrians, Yorkists and Henry VII.

2C The Reformation in Europe, c1500–1564

This option allows students to study the political position of the Church and its place in society at the start of the 16th century. Its central foci include the range of Protestant and Catholic views during the period. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y207 The German Reformation and the rule of Charles V 1500–1559.

2D Religious Conflict and the Church in England, c1529–1570

This option allows students to study the political and social role of the Church and charts the process of change from the break with Rome to the establishment of the Church of England. A main perspective is the relationship between Church and State in England in the 16th century. This option does not contain any similar content to the new OCR units.

1 2E The English Revolution, 1625–1660

This option allows students to study the origins and the aftermath of the English Civil War. It has a particular focus on the nature of political authority and the relationship between Crown and Parliament. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y108 The Early Stuarts and the Origins of the Civil War 1603–1660.

2F The Sun King: Louis XIV, France and Europe, 1643–1715

This option begins with the Regency period in France. It sets the reign of Louis XIV within a wider European context. The main perspectives include religious, social and political developments and foreign policy. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y313 The Ascendancy of France 1610–1715.

2G The Birth of the USA, 1760–1801

This option allows students to study a significant period in the history of America. It looks at the origins of the American Revolution, the War of Independence and its aftermath and includes the development of the early Republic. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y212 The American 1740–1796.

2H France in Revolution, 1774–1815

This option allows students to study a revolutionary period in French history. It charts the progress from absolutism, through terror and revolution to the imperial age of Napoleon. Amongst its perspectives is the impact of imperialism and the challenges to the Grand Empire. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y213 The French Revolution and the rule of Napoleon 1774–1815.

2J America: A Nation Divided, c1845–1877

This option allows students to study the causes, events and consequences of the American Civil War. Its main perspectives are the political, social and economic developments during the era of Civil War and Reconstruction in America. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y216 The USA in the 19th Century: Westward expansion and Civil War 1803–c1890.

2K International Relations and the Origins of Global Conflict, c1890–1941

This option allows students to study international relations in the era of the two world wars. It looks at the major powers of the late 19th and mid-20th centuries and examines the issues that gave rise to conflict. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y218 International Relations 1890–1941.

2L Italy and Fascism, c1900–1945

This option allows students to engage with a period of significant upheaval in Italian history. The main perspectives are political, social and economic change. The option covers both domestic and foreign developments. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y220 Italy 1896–1943.

2M Wars and Welfare: Britain in Transition, 1906–1957

This option places emphasis on the impact of war on the economy, society and class in Britain. Its foci include political developments and Britain’s role in the world by 1957. The option also looks at the period from a cultural perspective and concerns issues of race and gender. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y112 Britain 1900–1951.

2N Revolution and Dictatorship: Russia and the Soviet Union, 1917–1953

This option allows students to study the origins of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and the rise of Stalin. It places emphasis on the political, social and economic transformation of the Soviet Union and its international position by 1957. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y219 Russia 1894–1941.

2O Democracy and Nazism: Germany, 1918–1945

This option allows students to study political, social and economic developments during a period of upheaval and crisis in Germany. It focuses on instability and the impact of extremism on the people. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y221 Democracy and Dictatorships in Germany 1919–1963.

2 2P The Transformation of China, 1936–1997

This option allows students to study the emergence of the People’s Republic of China. It begins with the era of Civil War and looks at the political, social and economic transformation of China and its position as a global power by 1997. This option does not contain any similar content to the new OCR units.

2Q The American Dream: Reality and Illusion, 1945–1980

This option allows students to study a period of social, political and cultural upheaval in the USA. It examines major conflict, both foreign and domestic, and its impact on the American people. This option does not contain any similar content to the new OCR units.

2R The Cold War, c1945–1991

This option allows students to study the conflicting ideologies at the heart of the Cold War. It looks at the origins of the Cold War and its impact on international relations. Crises and conflict in Europe, Asia and the wider world are examined. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y223 The Cold War in Europe 1941–1995.

2S The Making of Modern Britain, 1951–2007

This option allows students to study the political, social and economic developments that have shaped modern Britain. It places emphasis on cultural change, looking at issues of class, race, gender and youth. It examines both domestic and foreign affairs. This option contains similar content to the new OCR unit Y113 Britain 1930–1997.

2T The Crisis of Communism: the USSR and the Soviet Empire, 1953–2000

This option allows students to study the Soviet Union and its satellite states during a period of political crisis, rebellion and repression. It focuses on domestic crises, economic and political developments and foreign affairs. The option examines the legacy of communism and the Soviet Empire by 2000. This option does not contain any similar content to the new OCR units.

Available resources for new AQA specification

  • assessment specimen assessment materials
  • reading and resources lists
  • additional specimen assessment materials
  • schemes of work
  • non-exam assessment guidance.

Structure

There are three components in the new AQA A-level History:

  • two examination assessments – Paper 1 Breadth Study and Paper 2 Depth Study
  • one non-exam assessment.

Assessment

Paper 1: Breadth study

2 hours 30 minutes

One compulsory question

Two essays from a choice of three

80 marks

Paper 2: Depth study

2 hours 30 minutes

One compulsory question

Two essays from a choice of three

80 marks

Non-exam assessment

A personal Historical Investigation of between 3,000 and 3,500 words

40 marks

Specifications that use this resource: