History – Modern

Return to all courses
Modern history covers the period from the eighteenth century to the present.

Exam Board


Entry Requirements

GCSE grade 6 in either English language, English literature or history.


  • 80% Exams
  • 20% Coursework
An introduction to History - modern Presentation About this course Pathways Information

What is modern history?

Modern History covers the period from the Eighteenth Century until our own lifetimes, and in the A level course at King Edward’s we examine challenges and changes in Britain, America and Russia.


What will I study?

The modern history course is divided into four units.

The British unit, ‘England and a New Century’ covers changes in society between 1900 and 1951. This includes the development of the welfare state from Old Age Pensions to unemployment benefits and the establishment of the NHS; changing attitudes to poverty, education and the role of women; and the impact of two world wars and the rise of the Labour movement on the government of Britain.

In ‘The American Revolution’ we examine two key questions: how did Britain lose control of the American colonies between 1740 and 1781 and how far does the establishment of the American Constitution confirm the USA’s claim to be the home of democracy? This involves the study of the revolutionary war against Britain, conflicts amongst the Americans about the making of the USA, and the leadership of George Washington as the first US President up to 1796.

The Modern History thematic study is ‘Russia and its Rulers’, in which we take a long-term look at the state of Russia and ask why and how it moved from the autocracy of the Tsars to the dictatorship of Stalin, and what developments took place in the Russian social and economic order across the whole period from 1855 to 1964. We’ll cover the Russian Empire, the causes of the 1917 revolutions, the ideals of the Communists and the reality of Stalin’s Purges. Lastly, we’ll examine the effects on Russia of the two world wars and the Cold War, culminating in the Cuban missile crisis.

The final unit is an independent research essay from a selection of titles offered to you.


Trips, visits and enrichments:

  • Students attend lectures by academic historians
  • Students have visited St Petersburg and Moscow in past years
  • Visit to the People’s History Museum in Manchester


What can it lead to?

History is a course highly regarded by universities and is a recognised route into a wide range of careers.

Return to all courses

Apply for a place

If you wish to apply for a place at King Ed’s for September 2023, use this link to access our application portal. We look forward to hearing from you.

Apply now

Request a prospectus

If you would like a printed copy of the prospectus, then please request one using the link and we will post one out to you.

Find out more