This subject explores the significance of key events and individuals on the way our world has been shaped. The course focuses on British and international History, with examination units on Stuart Britain and Modern China. There is also a coursework unit, in the second year, which will require you to investigate historical interpretations and debate within a thematic extended essay, with source analysis. The coursework topic will be Modern British History, 1906-2007, which will chart the development of Britain from the Liberal reforms to Tony Blair.

What skills will I develop?

You will develop the skills to advance complex arguments, based on your knowledge of the Stuarts in England, modern China (1936-1997) and modern Britain (1906-2006).

In order to achieve this, you will gain high-level research and note-making skills, as well as the ability to defend your views via oral argument.

With regard to the coursework component, you will develop independent learning skills, as you research into your own unique areas of the syllabus.

What topics will I study?

Component 1 – Examination: Breadth Study Paper 1D Stuart Britain and the Crisis of Monarchy, 1603-1702 (2 hours, 30 minutes – 40%)

  • Part 1: Absolutism challenged: Britain, 1603–1649
    • Section A: Monarchs and Parliaments, 1603–1629
    • Section B: Revolution, 1629–1649
  • Part 2: Monarchy restored and restrained: Britain, 1649–1702
    • Section A: From Republic to restored and limited monarchy, 1649–1678
    • Section B: The establishment of constitutional monarchy, 1678–1702

Component 2 – Examination: Depth Study Paper 2P The Transformation of China, 1936-1997 (2 hours, 30 minutes – 40%)

  • Part 1: The Emergence of the People’s Republic of China, 1936-1962
    • Section A: The origins of the Civil War, 1936-1946
    • Section B: Communist victory and the consolidation of Mao’s rule, 1946-1952
    • Section C: The transition to socialism, 1952-1962
  • Part 2: The People’s Republic of China: Economic growth and the transformation of the state, 1962-1997
    • Section A: Reform and control, 1962-1966
    • Section B: The Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976
    • Section C: The PRC under Deng Xiaoping, 1976-1997

Component 3 – Coursework: Historical Investigation focused on Modern Britain, 1906-2006 (3000-3,500 words - 20%)

  • Section A: Historical investigation, independently researched, drawing upon the student's investigation of sources (both primary and secondary) which relate to the development or issue chosen and the differing interpretations that have been placed on this.

Where does the course lead?

History can prepare you for a wide range of careers including TV, radio, journalism, Civil Service, librarianship, marketing, law, social work, and teaching. The subject is also useful for a wide range of degree courses including Law, Psychology and English.

Exam Board


Head of Department

Leanne Gallagher

Entry Requirements

Five grades 4-9 (or equivalent)

Assessment Breakdown

Coursework = 20%, Examination = 80%