International GCSE HISTORY

Why Choose to Study GCSE History?

History is the study of the past. This syllabus offers the opportunity to study world history from the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twenty-first century. Learners will explore history from a diversity of perspectives, including social, economical, cultural and political. GCSE History encourages learners to raise questions and to develop and deploy historical skills, knowledge and understanding in order to provide historical explanations.

Aims of the Syllabus:

  • develop an interest in and enthusiasm for learning about and understanding the past
  • explore historical concepts such as cause and consequence, change and continuity, and similarity and difference
  • appreciate historical evidence and how to use it
  • gain a greater understanding of international issues and inter-relationships
  • learn how to present clear, logical arguments.

Syllabus at a glance:

Option B: The 20th century: International Relations since 1919

The content focuses on the following Key Questions:

  1. Were the peace treaties of 1919–23 fair?
  2. To what extent was the League of Nations a success?
  3. Why had international peace collapsed by 1939?
  4. Who was to blame for the Cold War?
  5. How effectively did the USA contain the spread of Communism?
  6. How secure was the USSR’s control over Eastern Europe, 1948–c.1989?
  7. Why did events in the Gulf matter c.1970–2000?

Depth Study: 

  • Germany, 1918–45 (Currently offered on COLLS)
  • The USA, 1919–41 (soon to be offered on COLLS)
  • South Africa, c.1940– c.1994 (soon to be offered on COLLS)

How are Candidates Assessed?

All candidates take three components. All candidates take Paper 1, Paper 2 and Paper 4

Paper 1 (2 hours) Written paper  [60 marks] Candidates answer two questions from Section A (Core Content) and one question from Section B (Depth Studies) All questions are in the form of structured essays, split into three parts: (a), (b) and (c) 

Paper 2 (2 hours) Written paper [50 marks] Candidates answer six questions on one prescribed topic* taken from the Core Content. There is a range of source material relating to each prescribed topic. 

Paper 4 (1 hour) Alternative to Coursework. Written paper [40 marks] Candidates answer one question on a Depth Study

Paper 2 Prescribed Topics 2020:

  • Who was to blame for the Cold War? (June examination) 
  • How effectively did the United States contain the spread of Communism? (November examination)

Source: Go to Cambridge International for Further Information