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History A Level

Pearson Edexcel

A level History

From the abolition of the slave trade to the history of Germany, studying A level History online will improve your knowledge of the past, whilst also developing valuable skills for your future.

Multi-buy A levels:

Purchasing more than one A level? Use voucher code ALMB10 to receive 10% off at checkout.

How did society allow the rise of the Third Reich? How did the slave trade finally get abolished? Studying history and the past is important to help understand current times and enable society to improve the future.

Our A level History online course will help you to become a more inquiring, critical and analytical thinker. It is impossible for historians to experience the past, so they excel at evaluating evidence and asking questions that aim to reveal the truth.

As you progress through this course, you’ll learn to understand the achievements and actions of others, to develop reasoned arguments and draw logical conclusions. Studying A level History online provides exceptional preparation for many careers where critical thinking and evidence plays a crucial role in decision making.

Why study History?

If you enjoy learning about historical events and personalities, relish looking at both sides of an argument and have an interest in researching information for yourself, our History A level online course is the perfect choice!

Whilst history is focused on our past, it’s a subject that encourages skills which help to future-proof diverse career plans. History students are highly employable and pursue ambitions across many sectors – from politics and medicine to town planning, law and business.

Our History A level course is ideal if you:

  • Are keen to study history at degree level.
  • Want to step back in time to learn about events that changed history and continue to shape today’s world.
  • Would like to boost your research, analytical and methodical skills in preparation for higher education.
  • Enjoy looking at the evidence at weighing up the facts.

Future opportunities

  • Studying history at university.
  • A wide range of rewarding career paths in areas such as politics, medicine, town planning, law, finance, business, accountancy, tourism, journalism and research.

Course content

Section 1: The growth of parliamentary democracy c1785–c1870

  • The unreformed Parliament up to 1785
  • Demand for reform c1785–1815
  • The Great Reform Act 1815–32
  • Towards Chartism 1832–48
  • The 1867 Reform Act

Section 2: Industrialisation, protest and trade unionism c1785–c1870

  • Industrial growth c1785–c1870
  • Living and working conditions c1785–c1850
  • Protest and reform c1785–c1870
  • Unionism and cooperation c1785–c1850
  • New Model Unionism c1850–c1870

Section 3: Poverty and pauperism; the abolition of the slave trade

  • Poverty and pauperism c1785–1834
  • After the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834
  • The abolition of the slave trade 1
  • The abolition of the slave trade 2
  • The abolition of the slave trade 3

Section 4: The unification of Germany 1: c1840–51

  • Popular pressure and causes of revolution 1840–48
  • Failure of revolution 1848–51

Section 5: The unification of Germany 2: c1852–71

  • Austro-Prussian rivalry 1852–66
  • Prussia and the Kleindeutschland solution 1866–71

Section 6: Coursework (NEA)

  • The ‘Great’ Reform Act?
  • The suffragettes: contextual background
  • The suffragettes: help or hindrance
  • Writing the assignment

Section 7: Prosperity and social change, Germany 1871–1990

  • Social change: the urban working class
  • Social change: artisans, junkers, women
  • Economic change 1871–1929
  • Economic change 1929–1990

Section 8: Germany united 1871–1935

  • Ruling the Second Reich 1871–1879
  • The birth of democratic Germany 1917–1919
  • A new Reich 1933–1935

Section 9: Germany divided and reunited 1945–1990

  • The new Federal Republic 1949–1960
  • Reunification: Germany 1989–1990

Section 10: Revision

  • Preparing for the exam

Study A level History with us and benefit from:

  • Flexible learning
  • Support from a personal tutor by email, phone or Skype
  • Any time enrolment
  • Our exam booking service
  • Assignments with tutor feedback
  • Ongoing support from Student Support
  • Forums to discuss your course with other students


Choose when and where you access your course, using learn@nec our 24/7 learning platform.

This easy-to-use learning platform includes interactive checkpoints, quizzes and activities to help you evaluate your progress.

Your tutor

You’ll have access to support from a personal tutor. All NEC tutors are subject experts, with experience of supporting online learners.

Meet Ben who is just one of our first-class History tutors

“I have worked as a distance learning tutor for approximately fifteen years, and with the growth of the Internet and digital technology, it is a booming area of innovative and flexible educational learning.

I have worked in teaching roles across secondary, further and higher education levels, and such experiences have helped my role as a distance learning tutor, where subject knowledge and communication skills are vital.

I have always enjoyed the subjects of History and Politics since I was at school, and have a combined degree in the subject. I have also have gained a Masters degree and PhD in Politics. I have gained practical experience of the subject area with a spell working in Parliament, visiting other political bodies and institutions, while also having various research articles, chapters and books published. When I’m not working I enjoy sport, especially football, and I am a big fan of Everton FC!”

What you need to know

Exam board

  • Edexcel 9HI0


  • Online learning with support from a personal tutor


  • Complete at your own pace
  • Approx. 250-300* hours plus time for completing assignments

*The specification suggests that 300 hours is needed. You’ll also need time to complete assignments and prepare yourself for exams and some courses like English literature involve a lot of reading. Everyone is different so it’s impossible to say with certainty how long a course will take you, but you should expect to spend longer than 300 hours. Taken across the length of time we recommend, this equates to approximately 5 hours per week. This will increase if you choose to take it over a shorter time frame or may be less if you are retaking a subject and have covered a lot of of the course content.


  • 11 assignments (one introductory) – these do not contribute towards your final grade


Set textbooks – included as a free ebook with your course:

  • Edexcel AS/A level History, Paper 1 & 2: Challenges to the Authority of the State in the Late 18th and 19th Centuries, M Collier, R Rogers and A Kidson, Pearson Education, 2015
  • Germany, 1871-1990: united, divided and re-united, D Brown, Pearson Education, 2016
  • The Unification of Germany and the challenge of Nationalism 1789-1919, A Farmer and A Stiles, Hodder Education, 2015


  • Internet access
  • Computer operating system and browser to support learn@nec

What's included?

Our course fees are clear and transparent to help you plan for any additional costs.

Your course fee includes:

  • 24/7 access to learn@nec platform and resources
  • Expertly designed online course materials
  • Free e-book version of essential textbooks where available
  • Discount code for textbooks not available as an ebook
  • Support from our Student Services team
  • Structured assignments carefully designed to prepare you for exams
  • Guidance from your tutor for up to 24 months from your date of enrolment
  • Extensive feedback to all assignments that will support your learning
  • NEA (coursework) marking and authentication
  • Marking for one examination paper (from a previous year)
  • Guaranteed exam place
  • NEC’s guide to study skills: How to Succeed as an Independent Learner
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar guide
  • Time planner template to help you plan your study timetable
  • Information on how to apply for exams

Your course fee does not cover:

  • Any fees in relation to exam entries or assessments
  • Centre Assessment Grades (CAG) in the event of exam cancellation
  • Certain set texts unavailable as ebooks / recommended textbooks for additional reading

If you need more support, you can purchase:

  • Online tutorials – if you need help with a specific topic you can arrange a 30 minute or 1 hour tutorial
  • Additional past paper marking – to help with your exam preparation
  • Revision tutorial –  to plan your revision and explore revision techniques
  • Help with your UCAS application service

For further information on additional/optional support you can purchase, please visit our additional services page.

Exams and assessment


Exams (three):

  • 30% of marks  (2 hours 15 minutes)
  • 20% of marks  (1 hour 30 minutes)
  • 30% of marks  (2 hours 15 minutes)

Non-exam assessment (NEA):

  • one coursework task (20% of marks)
  • part of the A level assessment for this specification
  • NEC has agreed with the awarding body that our own tutors are able to mark your NEA work*
  • you can then sit your written exams at one of our partnership exam centres

*You will need to complete at least four NEC assignments before the tutor can start looking at your NEA work. The deadlines for completion of these and other elements of the NEA will be available on learn@nec.

Additional support if you’re under 18

We know that our younger students often need an extra helping hand with their studies. In our experience learning online works best when either a parent or guardian are involved. This is why NEC has developed our unique Progress Tracker to help you to support your child.

NEC’s Progress Tracker will allow you to easily track your child’s progress across their subjects and gain insight to how well they are doing through access to their assignment grades and tutor feedback.  

Read more about how we work with young students who are studying at home or through a school.

Arrange a callback with a member of our Course Advice Team.

Would you like to talk to our Course Advice Team about the best route for you? Visit our Contact Us page, fill in the form and a member of the team will get back to you!