Entry Requirements

  • 5+ GCSEs at 9-4
  • Grade 5 in English (language or literature)
  • Grade 6 in history


Sonny Simpson
Director of Learning – Humanities


Course Outline

IB History aims to:

  1. encourage the systematic and critical study of: human experience and behaviour; physical, economic and social environments; the history and development of social and cultural institutions 
  2. develop in the student the capacity to identify, to analyse critically and to evaluate theories, concepts and arguments about the nature and activities of the individual and society 
  3. enable the student to collect, describe and analyse data used in studies of society, to test hypotheses and interpret complex data and source material 
  4. promote the appreciation of the way in which learning is relevant to both the culture in which the student lives and the culture of other societies 
  5. develop an awareness in the student that human attitudes and opinions are widely diverse and that a study of society requires an appreciation of such diversity 
  6. enable the student to recognize that the content and methodologies of the subject are contestable and that their study requires the toleration of uncertainty
  7. develop an understanding of, and continuing interest in, the past 
  8. encourage students to engage with multiple perspectives and to appreciate the complex nature of historical concepts, issues, events and developments 
  9. promote international-mindedness through the study of history from more than one region of the world 
  10. develop an understanding of history as a discipline and to develop historical consciousness including a sense of chronology and context, and an understanding of different historical perspectives 
  11. develop key historical skills, including engaging effectively with sources 
  12. increase students’ understanding of themselves and of contemporary society by encouraging reflection on the past.

Course Content

One prescribed subject from:

  • Military leaders
  • Conquest and its impact
  • The move to global war
  • Rights and protest
  • Conflict and intervention

One depth study from:

  • History of Africa and the Middle East
  • History of the Americas
  • History of Asia and Oceania
  • History of Europe 

Two world history topics from:

  •  Society and economy (750–1400)
  • Causes and effects of wars (750–1500)
  • Dynasties and rulers (750–1500)
  • Societies in transition (1400–1700)
  • Early Modern states (1450–1789)
  • Causes and effects of Early Modern wars (1500–1750)
  • Origins, development and impact of industrialization (1750–2005)
  • Independence movements (1800–2000)
  • Emergence and development of democratic states (1848–2000)
  • Authoritarian states (20th century)
  • Causes and effects of 20th-century wars
  • The Cold War: Superpower tensions and rivalries (20th century)

Course Assessment

Assessment Objectives

  1. Knowledge and understanding
    Demonstrate detailed, relevant and accurate historical knowledge.
    Demonstrate understanding of historical concepts and context.
    Demonstrate understanding of historical sources.
  2. Application and analysis
    Formulate clear and coherent arguments.
    Use relevant historical knowledge to effectively support analysis.
    Analyse and interpret a variety of sources.
  3. Synthesis and evaluation
    Integrate evidence and analysis to produce a coherent response.
    Evaluate different perspectives on historical issues and events, and integrate this evaluation effectively into a response.
    Evaluate sources as historical evidence, recognizing their value and limitations.
  4. Use and application of appropriate skills
    Structure and develop focused essays that respond effectively to the demands of a question.
    Reflect on the methods used by, and challenges facing, the historian.
    Formulate an appropriate, focused question to guide a historical inquiry.
    Demonstrate evidence of research skills, organisation, referencing and selection of appropriate sources.
  • Paper 1
    20%, 24 marks, 1 hour
    Source-based paper based on the five prescribed subjects. Choose one prescribed subject from a choice of five. Answer four structured questions.
  • Paper 2
    25%, 30 marks, 1 hour 30 mins
    Essay paper based on the 12 world history topics. Answer two essay questions on two different topics.
  • Paper 3
    35%, 45 marks, 2 hours 30 mins
    Separate papers for each of the four regional options. For the selected region, answer three essay questions.

This component is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB at the end of the course.

  • Historical Investigation
    25 marks
    Students are required to complete a historical investigation into a topic of their choice.