History (KS4)


Examination Board: AQA GCSE History: Specification 





Course Description:

The course consists of 4 units of study:

  • A depth study into the development of America from 1920 to 1973, with a focus on opportunity and inequality, which will give students great insights into topics such as the divisions in American society, the Depression, the New Deal, the Civil Rights movement and America’s ‘Great Society’.
  • The investigation of the events, causes and consequences of the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
  • The theme of the development and impact of medicine through time from c1000 right up to the present day. This includes events such as the Black Death and plagues, development of vaccinations and anaesthetics, progress in surgery and the NHS.
  • A study of medieval England during the tumultuous rule of Edward I, will include an investigation of life in medieval England, wars with Wales and Scotland and the analysis of a specific historic environment, chosen by the exam board.


All 4 units will involve the students developing their skills of recall, description, explanation, analysis and source evaluation. This will build on the skills taught throughout Years 7-9 and will allow students to enhance and refine their skills at a more advanced level.



This qualification is assessed through two exam papers, each of which is worth 50% of the marks for the GCSE. Each exam is 1 ¾ hours long. Both exams assess the full range of skills learnt throughout the course.

Paper 1: Understanding the Modern World. This paper assesses the topics of ‘America 1920-1973’ and ‘Conflict and Tension in Asia 1950-75’ (the Korean War and the Vietnam War)

Paper 2: Shaping the Nation. This paper assesses the two British history units and therefore includes the topics of ‘Health and the people c1000 to the present day’ and ‘Medieval England: the reign of Edward I 1272-1307’

There is no coursework for this qualification


Why Study History?

The course provides students with a fascinating study of a wide range of historical events, time periods and themes, which will be engaging and thought provoking for students of all abilities. The skills learnt and developed through the study of History are highly sought after in a number of different professions, and can be transferred to a wide range of contexts such as journalism, law and publishing, to name just a few. As well as demonstrating that they can recall and organise a significant amount of information, History students will also learn how to form a logical argument, construct coherent answers, reach supported judgements, evaluate source material, analyse interpretations, and coherently and confidently present information and ideas to their peers.


Further information on GCSE History can be obtained from Miss L Devitt, Head of History.