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Year 9 Options Process - History

Introduction

Why study history?

People who study history are fearless explorers of the past. They investigate past politics, societies, cultures, languages, health, art, education, money, conflicts and more. They look at how things have developed over time to connect the dots to understand how we got where we are today.

Here are 4 reasons why studying history is great for your future:

  • History tells us about the future. Learning from past mistakes helps governments and businesses make better choices. For example, economists work with politicians to avoid future economic crashes by studying past events.
  • History helps us see the bigger picture. In history we study many sources and learn that events often have complex causes. History gives us a more balanced outlook on the world.
  • Studying history gives you loads of skills. History teaches us to ask two particularly important questions: Why and how? This will equip you with loads of important skills, from critical thinking and analysis, to communication, problem-solving and essay writing.
  • History leads to many different careers. With the analytical and detective skills you will have gained you will be primed for many different roles.

Course Details

What will you study?

The subject content at GCSE enables you to investigate a broad and rich range of options drawn from different periods and diverse societies. Learners can investigate, analyse and evaluate historical figures and events from the broad range of options on offer. These include British History in depth e.g. Elizabethan England Non-British History in depth e.g. Weimar and Nazi Germany Broader national and international studies e.g. the development of the USA in the twentieth century Longer thematic studies exploring change and continuity over time e.g. changes in health and medicine in Britain. 

What skills will you develop?

GCSE History is the perfect subject to develop and assess a wide range of transferable skills for employment or further study:

  • Reaching conclusions and making judgements
  • Problem solving
  • Writing skills
  • Research skills
  • Independent study skills
  • Analytical and evaluative skills
  • Making connections

What topics will you learn?

  • The Elizabethan Age, 1558-1603

This option focuses in depth on selected themes and issues relating to the history of England during the Elizabethan Age, from 1558 to 1603. Candidates will be required to consider the major influences on political and social life during the period as well as the issue of religious controversy. Candidates should develop an awareness of how aspects of life in this period have been represented and interpreted, and how they have generated wider historical debate. They should also address the key questions in each topic area using a range of historical sources.

  • The USA: A Nation of Contrasts, 1910-1929

This option focuses in depth on selected themes and issues relating to the history of the USA between1910 and 1929. Candidates will be required to consider the main problems and challenges facing American society during the period, the major economic problems and the development of American culture and society. Candidates should develop an awareness of how aspects of life in the USA in this period have been represented and interpreted, and how they have generated wider historical debate. They should also address the key questions in each topic area using a range of historical sources.

  • The Development of Germany, 1919-1991

This option focuses on the key trends and turning points that have affected the development of Germany between 1919 and 1991. Candidates will be required to consider the developments, events and personalities which have shaped the recent history of Germany. Candidates will be required to examine the major political, social, economic, and cultural perspectives which have affected the lives of the German people over the whole of this period.

  • Changes in Health and Medicine in Britain, c.500 to the present day

This option focuses thematically on the main trends in the history of health and medicine in Britain from c.500 to the present day. Candidates will be required to consider the causes, treatment and prevention of illness and disease, advances in medical knowledge, developments in patient care and advances in public health and welfare over time.

Candidates will also be required to examine the major political, social, economic, and cultural perspectives which have contributed to the development of health and medicine from c.500 to the present day. In this option a key focus will be on the issues of change, continuity, significance and turning points. As part of this option candidates will investigate an historic site connected with this theme.

  • A study of a historic environment

In studying the named historic site, learners should consider the key historic features of the historic site, the significance of the historic site on a local, regional and national level, and how the historic site contributes to a wider understanding of changes in health and medicine in Britain, c.500 to the present day.

For assessment in 2023 the nominated historic site connected to changes in Health and Medicine in Britain, c.500 to the present day is Scutari Hospital and the treatment and care of the wounded during the Crimean War, 1853-1856.

Progression beyond GCSE

GCSE History provides a suitable foundation for the study of history or a wide range of other academic subjects at A level which in turn can lead to a variety of university degree courses. It provides crucial knowledge of the past as well as developing a broad range of transferable skills to help you understand your place in the world and find your path in the world of further education and work.

History at GCSE will prepare students for further study at college in any of the following areas:

  • History
  • Politics
  • English
  • Law
  • Classical studies
  • Journalism
  • RE/Theology
  • Sociology
  • Citizenship

Where will the course take you?

Because of the intellectual challenge the study of history provides learners with, it is a widely respected qualification to have and recognised by many colleges, universities, and employers.

Many people who study history go on to have successful careers in the following industries:

  • Education
  • Museum and Galleries
  • Research
  • Historian
  • Journalism
  • Politics
  • Libraries
  • Law
  • Film and TV production

Course structure and assessment

  • Component 1: Studies in Depth

Written examinations: 2 hours (split into two papers of 1 hour duration each)

50% of the qualification

British depth study: The Elizabethan Age, 1558-1603

World depth study: The USA: A Nation of Contrasts, 1910-1929

Each study will be assessed by compulsory questions focusing extensively on the analysis and evaluation of historical sources and interpretation. There will also be questions testing second order historical concepts.

  • Component 2: Studies in Breadth

Written examinations: 2 hours (split into two papers of 45 minutes for the Period Study and 1 hour 15 minutes for the Thematic Study)

50% of the qualification

World breadth study: The Development of Germany, 1919-1991

British thematic study: Changes in Health and Medicine in Britain, c.500 to the present day

The requirement to study an historical site is part of the Thematic Study which for examination in 2023 will be on:

Scutari Hospital and the treatment and care of the wounded during the Crimean War, 1853-1856

Each study will be assessed by compulsory questions focusing extensively on second order historical concepts including, change, cause, consequence, significance, similarity and difference.

Student work

 

Example Answer: GCSE Style question

Further information