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Poetry and Rhetoric

The specification followed at A-Level is OCR. Link to OCR website. 

History provides an ideal preparation for anyone wishing to follow a career in Law or the media. Recent publications by the HMC, the Russell Group and the University of Cambridge have confirmed the place of history among the list of subjects that are most valued by universities. Students are very well prepared for university and recent alumni have gone on to study History at Oxford, Cambridge, St. Andrews, Durham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Lancaster.


We run a College History Society called P.A.S.T. and regularly welcome visiting academics on a  wide range of topics. We have a weekly meeting for all those who are interested in contributing to the annual history magazine which has won the ‘Best School History Magazine’ Prize through the Historical Association in 2008 and 2010. Entry into university essay competitions is encouraged and students also present talks to each other. Extra revision classes are provided in the lead up to the exams and we run revision sessions for local students in the Easter Holiday. Extra history classes are run for those who are considering applying to university to study history or who are applying to Oxbridge. Interview preparation is also given.

AS / A2 Course
The study of History at A level requires extensive reading and research; and pupils cannot afford to rely solely on class notes. The A-Level course at Stonyhurst aims to develop interest in both Modern and Early Modern history.  Modules are selected from the Fifteenth to the Twentieth Century in order to encourage the knowledge and understanding of as wide a range of periods as possible and to take advantage of the spectacular array of source material that is available to use in the Stonyhurst Collections.

At AS level, courses taught cover:

– British period study and enquiry: 1 hour 30 minute paper (50% of total AS).

– Non-British period study: 1 hour and 30 minute paper (50% of total AS).

At A2, students study:

– British period study and enquiry: 1 hour and 30 minute paper (25% of total A-Level).

– Non-British period study: 1 hour paper (15% of total A-Level).

– Thematic study and historical interpretations: 2 hour 30 minute paper (40% of total A-Level).

– Topic based essay: 3000-4000 word essay (20% of total A-Level).

International Baccalaureate
The study of history provides a particularly effective way of taking advantage of the opportunities promoted in the IB Learner Profile. Historians are natural inquirers who want to know the truth about how things really are. They must think, be open-minded, balanced and reflective communicators.

Courses follow a largely 20th Century Syllabus with both HL and SL learners studying the key areas of: Peacemaking, peacekeeping – international realtions 1918-36; Causes practices and effects of wars; Origins and development of authoritarian and single party states; and Aspects of the history of Europe and the Middle East. These topics are assessed through external examinations.  There is also an internal Assessment of a Historical Investigation.

For further information please visit the International Baccalaureate website.