Back to Top
Print Page

Key information

Qualification type


Course code



Level 3


2 years


Kings Road,
Reading, RG1 4HJ

Start date

Sep 2021

New and returning learners:

Please note that due to special measures we have put in place to make our sites COVID safe, we are asking all learners to enrol with us online. If you are unable to do so we can support you over the phone, simply call 0800 612 6008. Please do not enter our college sites without a prior appointment as we are managing the number of people on site at any time to comply with social distancing measures.

See information about the measures we are taking to keep learners safe while on campus.

This humanities subject area is a good choice if your chosen career will require good written and verbal communication.

Apart from increasing your historical knowledge, this course will help develop your research skills. You will need to read source material, draw out inferences, make connections and argue a case. You will be taught a range of historic areas of study from our experienced staff.

The course involves a number of historical trips, including some overseas. We also work in partnership with local charities. Opportunities include teaching English to the families of ex-Gurkhas with SSAFA Forces Help and fundraising for a memorial with The Trooper Potts VC Trust.

You could progress on to higher level study including politics, international relations, archaeology and anthropology degree courses, or seek employment in roles such as a researcher or data analyst.

This course can be studied as part of the business, communication or social sciences A Level pathways at Reading College.


What I'll learn

You will be following the AQA specification:

First year AS history:

  • Unit 1: Breadth Study: The British Empire c1857–1967
  • Unit 2: Depth study: The Cold War c1945–1991

Second year A Level history:

  • Unit 1: Breadth Study: The British Empire c1857–1967
  • Unit 2: Depth study: The Cold War c1945–1991
  • Unit 3: Non Examined Assessment: a piece of research into an area of your choice. Up to 4500 words.


How I'll learn

You learn in a variety of ways: discussion, groupwork, independent study, traditional essays, reading and research tasks. There is a balance of challenge and support. You will play an active part in your learning and there will be a strong focus on your individual learning needs.

You will develop the skills necessary for further academic study, such as strong report writing, essay writing and study skills, including presentation skills. 

You will also improve the wider skills vital for success in further study or employment, including self-confidence, speaking in front of others, working with others, taking responsibility and managing your time. By the end of the course you will have benefited from individual support, including clear advice about higher education and careers.


How I'll be assessed

Units 1 and 2 will be examined in May/ June. Unit 3 will be based on coursework.

You will also have modular exams in some subjects.

There will be a range of regular assignments, essays and class-based assessments to help you develop your study skills for the next educational step.

Individual learning targets are set each term and you will receive regular feedback on your progress in meeting these targets.


Entry Requirements

You will need a minimum of six GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, including English Language and maths but excluding PE, Dance, Catering, or other subjects with a large practical component.

For this subject you also need GCSE English language or GCSE English literature at grade 5 (or equivalent).

Two official textbooks are required for each unit: AQA’s The British Empire c1857-1967 and The Cold War c1945-1991. They are roughly £30 new or less.


How to Apply

You can apply for this programme online. Click on APPLY NOW and follow the steps below:

  • Register for our online service and verify your account
  • Log in to our website and click APPLY NOW on your chosen programme’s page to complete your application

As part of your application, you will be asked to provide us with your contact details, how your chosen programme fits with your future plans and if you require any extra support (for example, because of a disability, medical condition, learning or language support needs). 
Please include full details of your qualifications from your own country, as well as details of any English Language tests you have taken.

Printed application forms are also available.

Please contact our Careers team if you need advice and guidance to help you choose the right programme for you.