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Course Length

Two years (or one year depending on individual circumstances).

The course

GCSE History is a course divided into two parts. Paper 1 deals with aspects of the making of the modern world. Paper 2 looks at topics that have helped to shape the nation of Great Britain. Students will cover topics such as the impact of the American West on the development of the United States, the impact and causes of the First World War, the development of Medicine in Britain and the impact of the Norman Conquest on England. The course will require students to provide in depth written answers and the ability to analyse historical sources correctly. GCSE History students will learn to provide balanced and reasoned arguments that are supported with factual evidence. They will look at different historical perspectives and make judgements about them based on their content and provenance. Students will also be encouraged to contribute to class discussions, so that a range of perspectives can be established in the classroom.

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What skills do I need?

Students who choose this course will have an intellectual curiosity in History and the ability to write in depth and detail. It is important that History students are also able to appreciate differing perspectives from their own.

How is the course assessed?

The course is divided into two parts:
Paper 1: Understanding the Modern World – looks at:

  • America, 1840–1895: Expansion and consolidation
  • Conflict and tension: The First World War, 1894–1918

Paper 2: Shaping the Nation – looks at:

  • Britain: Health and the people: c1000 to the present day
  • Norman England, c1066–c1100

The course is examined by two written exam papers. Each paper lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes. Both papers are worth 50% of the total marks for this course.


(provided by college)

AQA GCSE History: Germany 1890-1945: Democracy and Dictatorship
By A. Wilkes
Published by OUP, ISBN 9780198370109

AQA GCSE History: Conflict in Asia, 1950-1975
By L. Bruce and A. Wilkes
Published by OUP, ISBN 9780198412649

AQA GCSE History: Elizabethan England c1568-1603
By W. Royle
Published by Hodder Education, ISBN 9781471864292

AQA GCSE History: Migration, Empires and the People
By R. Whitburn, A. Mohamud
Published by Hodder Education, ISBN 9781471886249

Exam Board and Specification Codes

AQA History 8145  

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