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GCSE History

Course Length

Two years.

History GCSE introduces students to a wide range of people and events crucial to the contemporary world and develops skills such as empathy and the ability to argue effectively. Two topics are chosen for study in depth (Crime and Punishment through Time and Elizabethan England) giving students greater insight into the historical background of different countries and periods.

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The Specification

OCR History A: Schools’ History Project J415


A951A Crime and Punishment through Time, Elizabethan England 1558-16032 hour exam45%
A972A Developments in Crime and Punishment in Britain 1200-19452 hour exam30%
A973A Historical EnquiryControlled assessment25%


Course content 

The specification is composed of a Core Content, which is fully covered and a Depth Study on Elizabethan. A wide range of resources are used such as textbooks, speeches, cartoons, posters, websites and videos.

The Core Content paper investigates the development of Crime and Punishment through Time from the Roman Empire to the Modern World. The paper looks at the various treatments of crime and a study of the different punishments used to combat it. The depth study looks at Elizabethan England covering topics such as what sort of monarch Elizabeth was herself, religion, warfare, piracy and the Age of Discovery, and Elizabethan culture and society. Students will also study and investigate a historical site and its historical context or a current issue from Modern World History in the context of world events from the past.

Candidates also complete a controlled assessment of c.2000 words on one of the following: the role of an individual in history, a thematic study in 20th century history or a depth study in world history.

Reading List

OCR GCSE History A School History Project: Crime and Punishment through TimeAhrengelt, J and Watkin, NLaceyHeinemann
OCR GCSE History A School History Project: Elizabethan EnglandRoberts, CHeinemann


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