Why study history?

History enables you to develop an understanding of the past and provides you with an overview of change and continuity of human history. A range of units allow you to  explore key areas of political and social history in Britain, Europe and the wider world.

You will also develop your skills of communication, analysis, interpretation and evaluation. You can expect to be challenged intellectually, take an active role in the consideration of issues, become more sophisticated in your thinking and expression, and will enjoy learning the subject using a range of approaches.

What will I learn?

Component 1: Breadth study

Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855–1964

The breadth component requires the study of an extended period and enables students to develop secure understanding of the process of change over time.

The breadth study is introduced by six key questions which identify issues and perspectives which are central to the period of study. This option allows students to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the following key questions:

  • how was Russia governed and how did political authority change and develop?
  • why did opposition develop and how effective was it?
  • how and with what results did the economy develop and change?
  • what was the extent of social and cultural change?
  • how important were ideas and ideology?
  • how important was the role of individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments?

Component 2: Depth study

Each depth study is focused on a significant period of historical change or development.

Students will gain a deep understanding of change and continuity through the study of the inter-relationships of a variety of perspectives, as indicated in the content. They will develop detailed knowledge and understanding of developments and the roles of individuals, groups, ideas and ideology.

Depth studies also promote an understanding of the complexity of the historical process through a detailed focus on a specific period of change. This option provides for the study in depth of the challenges faced by those in authority in the years before, during and after the English Civil War.

It explores concepts such as divine right; arbitrary government, Arminianism, and political and religious radicalism. It also encourages an in depth understanding of how government works, arbitrary government and consensus, authority and opposition and issues of settlement.

Component 3: Historical investigation – non-exam assessment

Students will be required to identify an issue they wish to study and develop a question from this issue which will be the focus of the historical investigation.

To ensure that this represents a substantial study, the issue to be investigated has to be placed in the context of approximately 100 years. Students may study a specific issue or development in depth, but this must be placed in the context of approximately 100 years, or a broader theme and/or development.

Issues which relate to international, national or local developments are appropriate, as are investigations which adopt specific historical perspectives such as cultural, social or technological.

How will I be assessed?

  • Examinations
  • Coursework

Future pathways and careers

  • Historian
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Business management
  • Politics
  • Social sciences
  • Teaching

Entry requirements

GCSE at grade 5 in history.

Examination board