Why choose our specification?

Our AS and A level History qualifications offer thematic routes to provide greater coherence and context for studying depth topics. They encourage students to think like historians and give them the skills to succeed in their chosen pathway.

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The wide range of routes offered by our specifications allow you to choose topics that suit your students and your department. Shaped by hundreds of practising teachers and the history education community, we've created qualifications that offer:

Our specifications have a clear and simple structure, with breadth and depth clearly distinguished – both in the way the content is specified and in the types of essay questions asked in each paper. Paper 1 is a breadth study with interpretations, while Paper 2 is a depth study with sources. The topics in Papers 1 and 2 are linked thematically and meet the requirement to study two different countries. Paper 3 meets the requirement to study change over at least 100 years.

All of the subject content requirements are covered in the examined units. This gives you a free choice of coursework topic, which can be linked to the content of one of your examined units.* Our coursework also has a clear rationale. It is an enquiry in depth, with a focus on interpretations of history. The assignment will ask students to look at an aspect of historical controversy, exploring how and why historians' interpretations about the past differ. We also provide plenty of support for coursework, including marked exemplars, training and our coursework advisory service, and as a result, very few centres have seen their marks adjusted via the moderation process.

*Coursework must not duplicate coverage of the historical interpretations section studied by students for Paper 1.

Our topic booklets and schemes of work now provide greater clarity over the depth and breadth to teach to. We’ve also issued extra assessment guidance about approaches to exam technique and support with coursework (including our popular coursework advisory service), and continue to provide training opportunities and additional student exemplars from the 2018 exam series. Our published resources cover every topic in Papers 1, 2 and all Paper 3 options, with a textbook for every examined unit, each accompanied by an eBook (no paid-for products and services are required to deliver Pearson Edexcel qualifications).