History - Key Stage 4

History is one of the humanities subjects.

The GCSE History content comprises the following elements:

  • One period study
  • One thematic study
  • One wider world depth study
  • One British depth study including the historic environment

Paper 1: Understanding the Modern World

Section A: Period Studies – Germany 1890 to1945: Democracy and Dictatorship

This period study focuses on the development of Germany during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of democracy and dictatorship – the development and collapse of democracy and the rise and fall of Nazism. Students will study the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of these two developments and the role ideas played in influencing change. They will also look at the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and the impact the developments had on them.

Section B: Wider World Depth Studies – Conflict and Tension 1894 to 1918

This wider world depth study enables students to understand the complex and diverse interests of the Great Powers and other states. It focuses on the causes, nature and conclusion of the First World War and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred, and why it proved difficult to bring the war to a conclusion. This study also considers the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and how they were affected by, and influenced, international relations.

How is the course assessed?

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 84 marks (including 4 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar)
  • 50% of GCSE

Paper 2: Shaping the Nation

Section A: Thematic Studies – Britain: Health and the People c1000 to the Present Day

This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of how medicine and public health developed in Britain over a long period of time. It considers the causes, scale, nature and consequences of short and long term developments, their impact on British society and how they were related to the key features and characteristics of the periods during which they took place. Although the focus of this study is the development of medicine and public health in Britain, it will draw on wider world developments that impacted on the core themes. Students will have the opportunity to see how some ideas and events in the wider world affected Britain and will promote the idea that key themes did not develop in isolation, but these ideas and events should be referenced in terms of their effects on the core theme for Britain and British people.

Section B: British Depth Studies Including the Historic Environment

Note: The decision regarding which of the four following subjects will be studied has yet to be made.

  • Norman England, c1066 to c1100
  • Medieval England: The Reign of Edward I – 1272 to 1307
  • Elizabethan England, c1568 to 1603  Restoration England, 1660 to 1685

How is the course assessed?

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 84 marks (including 4 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar)
  • 50% of GCSE