Humanities - History

Key Stage 5 History


‘Historia est magistrate vitae’ – Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman Consul

Key Stage 5, AS and A Level History, covers a broad range of topics set to engage and challenge pupils. Some of these will be familiar, and some will be completely new. It is divided into four units of work, to emphasise the key skills to be developed.

The available topics are:

Unit 1: Depth Study and Interpretations

Option 1A: France in Revolution, 1774–99

Option 1B: Russia in Revolution, 1881–1917

Option 1C: Germany, 1918–45

Option 1D: Britain, 1964–90

(1B may not be combined with 2C. 1C may not be combined with 3C)

Unit 2: Breadth Study With Source Evaluation

Option 2A: India, 1857–1948: The Raj to Partition

Option 2B: China, 1900–76

Option 2C: Russia, 1917–91: From Lenin to Yeltsin

Option 2D: South Africa, 1948–2014: From Apartheid State to the Death of Mandela

(2C may not be combined with 1B)

Unit 3: Thematic Study with Source Evaluation

Option 3A: The USA, Independence to Civil War, 1763–1865

Option 3B: The British Experience of Warfare, 1803–1945

Option 3C: Germany: United, Divided and Reunited, 1870–1990

Option 3D: Civil Rights and Race Relations in the USA, 1865–2009

(3B may not be combined with 4A 3C may not be combined with 1C)

Unit 4: International Study With Historical Interpretations

Option 4A: The Making of Modern Europe, 1805–71

Option 4B: The World in Crisis, 1879–1945

Option 4C: The World Divided: Superpower Relations, 1943–90

Option 4D: The Cold War and Hot War in Asia, 1945–90

(4A may not be combined with 3B)

History at this level gives student the opportunity to develop their critical and analytical skills, form opinions, and learn how to develop a persuasive argument. These are skills highly suited to government professions, law, and many others.

Pupils can see the wider world with new depth and clarity. In know where we have come from, can become the leaders of the future, and shape the world of tomorrow for the better.


As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.” Most people who study History do not become professional historians; however employers often deliberately seek pupils with capabilities that studying history promotes, including developing research skills, finding and evaluating sources of information and identifying and evaluating diverse interpretations. At Key Stage 4, BISAK historians study towards examinations in the Edexcel IGCSE which aims to develop these skills. Students will sit two, 1 hour 30 minute, exams at the end of Year 11; each exam is worth 50% of their final grade.

Pupils will have the choice of studying two depth topics, including for example, Development of Dictatorship: Germany 1918-45 and A divided union: Civil rights in the USA , 1945-74. In addition, a choice of historical investigations must be studied, for example, The origins and course of World War One, 1905-18 and finally a breadth study, for example The changing role of international organisations: the League and the UN, 1919-2000.

Key Stage 4 History

​​Mr J Costelloe           cjoseph@bisak.org

Mr I Mason                  iainmason@bisak.org

​Mrs D Mason      daniellemason@bisak.org