Shrewsbury School

History in the Sixth Form

The following information is taken from our document 'The Sixth Form and Beyond', which is updated each December. It can be downloaded as a pdf file.



Head of Faculty: Mr H.G. Mackridge

The most obvious strength of History in the Sixth Form at Shrewsbury is the sheer variety and depth of courses on offer. Studying Pre-U History gives subject teachers the flexibility to select areas of specialism and passion and ensures our pupils receive the very best teaching and resources related to their chosen period. Shrewsbury students cover a vast array of topics; from Medieval British monarchs to Richard Nixon and China under Mao, the sheer breadth on offer marks out History at Shrewsbury as unique, dynamic and exciting for our pupils.

Since 2015-16, all Lower Sixth Historians have followed the Cambridge Pre-U Course, which equips learners with the skills and knowledge needed to bridge the gap between school and higher education study. Lower Sixth pupils take two Outlines papers (one British paper is prescribed) from the following options:

Paper 1a: British History c.300-1547

Paper 1b: British History c.1399-1815

Paper 2b: European History c.1400-c.1800

Paper 2c: European History c.1700-2000

Paper 3: United States History c.1750-2000

In the Upper Sixth Year, pupils study for one further paper and prepare for their Personal Investigation:

  • Special Subject.  This allows pupils to study an area in depth, and this is examined by both a source-based question and an essay question.
  • Personal Investigation.  This takes the form of a 3,500 - 4,000-word essay and gives pupils the opportunity to demonstrate the skills of analysis and expression that they have developed throughout the course.  Pupils are able to write on a topic of their own choosing, approved in advance by the exam board.

Each component of the Pre-U qualification – the two Outlines papers, the Special Subject paper and the Personal Investigation – contributes 25% towards the overall grade.

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