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KS4 History

Key Stage 4 Course Information Page

Course Name : GCSE History (Edexcel)

What is the qualification?

One full GCSE awarded at grades 9 – 1. There is no foundation paper option.

What will I be doing on the course? How will it be structured?

Paper 1 Conflict and tension, 1918–1939

This wider world depth study enables students to understand the complex and diverse interests of different individuals and states. It focuses on the causes of the Second World War and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred and why it proved difficult to resolve the issues which caused it. This study also considers the role of key individuals and groups as well as how they were affected by and influenced international relations.

Germany, 1890–1945: 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 and the impact the developments had on them.

Paper 2 Britain: Power and the people

This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of the development of the relationship between the citizen and the state in Britain over a long period of time. It considers the causes, scale, nature and consequences of protest to that relationship. By charting the journey from feudalism and serfdom to democracy and equality, it reveals how, in different periods, the state responds to challenges to its authority and their consequences. It allows students to construct an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of the citizen.

Elizabethan England, c1568–1603

This option allows students to study in depth a specified historical period, the last 35 years of Elizabeth I’s reign. The study will focus on some major events of Elizabeth I’s reign considered from the economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoint and arising controversies.


The table below indicates the school terms in which the assessments will take place:

 Summer Term
Year 10
Year 11Paper 1 and Paper 2

What skills do I need to develop to be successful at this course?

You will need to select, organise and communicate historical knowledge and understanding. You will need to be able to examine and interpret a range of historical sources in order to arrive at reasoned conclusions. Motivated students who enjoy history and who are keen to develop their literacy and analytical skills are likely to thrive in this subject.

What could I use this qualification for?

History is a highly respected GCSE and is excellent preparation for A levels in the humanities and the social sciences. If you will be following a more scientific route, history is ideal evidence for universities and future employers of your literacy, analytical skills and spirit of enquiry.