IGCSE History is a 2-year course that offers pupils 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, economic, cultural and political. IGCSE History encourages learners to raise questions and to develop and deploy historical skills, knowledge and understanding in order to provide historical explanations. Studying History at IGCSE will develop pupils’ interest in and enthusiasm for learning about and understanding the past.


Pupils will be given the opportunity to explore historical concepts such as cause and consequence, change and continuity, and similarity and difference. This will focus around the following areas.

The 20th century: International Relations since 1919

Vietnam, Cold War, Causes of WWII, Peace after WWI, Cuban missile crisis, Interwar period politics, The Gulf 1970 to 2000

Students will also investigate a depth study on Germany 1918 to 1945


Paper 1

Paper 2


Candidates answer two questions from Section A (Core Content) and one question from Section B (Depth Study). All questions are in the form of structured essays, split into three parts: (a), (b) and (c).

2 hours

60 marks


Candidates answer six questions on one prescribed topic taken from the Core Content. There is a range of source material relating to each topic.

2 hours

60 marks


Candidates answer one question on a Depth Study.

1 hour

40 marks



  • A wide variety of potential careers including (but not limited to): Archaeology, Politics, Teaching, Law, Curating/museum/gallery work, Research, Journalism/media work, Heritage industry/tourism, International development organisations/charities
  • A deeper and better understanding of where we have come from and where we are heading. A desire to help look after our planet for the benefit or future generations
Unit / Block of workKey Episodes / QuestionsAdditional DetailLength of time.Possible Symbol?Learner Attribute(s)
1: Was the Treaty of Versailles fair? ·         What were the motives and aims of the Big Three at Versailles?The roles of Wilson, Clemenceau and Lloyd George in the peacemaking process
The terms of the Treaty
Social, economic and political impact of the Treaty in Germany to the end of 1923
Contemporary opinions about the Treaty
10Speech bubbleCommunicator  – being able to take on the role of one of the key leaders
 ·         Why did the victors not get everything they wanted?    
 ·         What was the impact of the Treaty on Germany up to the end of 1923?    
 ·         Could the Treaty be justified at the time?    
2: To what extent was the League of Nations a success? ·         How far did weaknesses in the League’s organisation and membership make failure inevitable?The structure, aims and membership of the League
Successes and failures in peacekeeping during the 1920s:
Vilna 1920
Aaland Islands 1920–21
Corfu 1923
Bulgaria 1925
The League’s humanitarian work:
working conditions
The League in the 1930s:
causes, events and consequences of the Manchurian crisis and of the Abyssinian crisis
10League of Nations Symbol Open Minded  – being able to evaluate a range of opinions about the relative success of the LON
 ·         How successful were the League’s attempts at peacekeeping in the 1920s?    
 ·         How important was the League’s humanitarian work?    
 ·         How far did the Depression make the work of the League more difficult in the 1930s?    
3: How far was Hitler’s foreign policy to blame for the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939? ·         What were the long-term consequences of the Treaty of Versailles?Hitler’s foreign policy aims
The Saar
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland
The Rome–Berlin Axis and the Anti-Comintern Pact
German and Italian involvement in the Spanish Civil War
Anschluss with Austria
The crisis over Czechoslovakia and the Munich Agreement
The Polish crisis and the outbreak of war
10Map of Europe Knowledgeable – being able to synthesis different events, in chronological order, considering different factors
 ·         What were the consequences of the failures of the League of Nations in the 1930s?    
 ·         Was the policy of appeasement justified?    
 ·         How important was the Nazi–Soviet Pact?    
 ·         Why did Britain and France declare war on Germany in September 1939?    
DS: Was the Weimar Republic doomed from the start? ·         How did Germany emerge from defeat at the end of the First World War? The Revolution of 1918 and the establishment of the Republic
The Versailles Settlement and German reactions to it
The Weimar Constitution, the main political divisions, the role of the army
Political disorder, 1919–23:
threats from the left and the right
economic crises and hyper-inflation
the occupation of the Ruhr
The Stresemann era:
economic achievements
foreign policy achievements
Cultural achievements of the Weimar period
8Weighing scales Inquirer – being able to ask questions about the birth of the republic and its possible impact
 ·         What was the impact of the Treaty of Versailles on the Republic?    
 ·         To what extent did the Republic recover after 1923?    
 ·         What were the achievements of the Weimar Period?     
DS: Why was Hitler able to dominate Germany by 1934? ·         What did the Nazi Party stand for in the 1920s?The early years of the Nazi Party:
Nazi ideas and methods
the Munich Putsch
the roles of Hitler and other Nazi leaders
The impact of the Depression on Germany:
political, economic and social crisis of 1930–33
reasons for the Nazis’ rise to power
Hitler takes power
the Reichstag Fire and the election of 1933
8Staircase Risk Taker – being able to think differently and explore new ideas about Hitler
 ·         Why did the Nazis have little success before 1930?    
 ·         Why was Hitler able to become Chancellor by 1933?    
 ·         How did Hitler consolidate his power in 1933-14?     
DS: How effectively did the Nazis control Germany, 1933-1945? ·         How much opposition was there to the Nazi regime?Nazi rule in Germany:
the Enabling Act
the Night of the Long Knives
the death of Hindenburg
the removal of opposition
methods of control and repression
use of culture and the mass media
Economic policy including rearmament
8Clenched FistThinker – being able to understand the complexity of the relationship between terror and indoctrination (historiography)
 ·         How effectively did the Nazis deal with their political opponents?    
 ·         How did the Nazis use culture and the mass media to control the    
 ·         Why did the Nazis persecute many groups in German society?    
 ·         Was Nazi Germany a totalitarian state?    
DS: What was it like to live in Nazi Germany? ·         How did young people react to the Nazi regime?Different experiences of Nazi rule:
women and young people
persecution of minorities
opposition to Nazi rule
Impact of the Second World War on Germany:
the conversion to a war economy
the Final Solution
8Group of people Inquirer  – being able to ask questions about why and how people lived in NG
 ·         How successful were Nazi policies towards women and the family    
 ·         Did most people in Germany benefit from Nazi rule?    
 ·         How did the coming of war change life in Nazi Germany?     
Unit / Block of workKey Episodes / QuestionsAdditional DetailLength of time.Possible Symbol?Learner Attribute(s)
Coursework Introduction to the key questionIntellectual rights and academic integrity – correct citations 20Open book Principled  – being able to conduct individual research correctly
 Planning your answer    
 Drafting your answer     
4: Who was to blame for the Cold War? ·         Why did the US–Soviet alliance begin to break down in 1945?The origins of the Cold War:
the 1945 summit conferences and the breakdown of the US–Soviet alliance in 1945-46
Soviet expansion into Eastern Europe to 1948, and American reactions to it
the occupation of Germany and the Berlin Blockade
NATO and the Warsaw Pact
10USSR/USA Flags Open Minded – being able to consider both sides of the argument and assess their validity
 ·         How had the USSR gained control of Eastern Europe by 1948?    
 ·         How did the United States react to Soviet expansionism?    
 ·         What were the consequences of the Berlin Blockade?    
 ·         Who was more to blame for starting the Cold War: the United States or the USSR?     
5: How effectively did the United States contain the spread of Communism? ·         Introduction to Paper 2 Case studies of:
American reactions to North Korea’s invasion of South Korea, the involvement of the UN, the course of the war to 1953
American reactions to the Cuban Revolution, including the Missile Crisis and its aftermath
American involvement in the Vietnam War, including reasons for involvement, tactics and strategy and reasons for withdrawal 
10Hammer and Scythe behind do not sign Reflective – being able to use this and other units to consider the role of the US in the world
 ·         The United States and events in Korea, 1950–53    
 ·         The United States and events in Cuba, 1959–62    
 ·         American involvement in Vietnam, 1955–75    
 ·         Paper 2 practice     
6: How secure was the USSR’s control over Eastern Europe, 1948-1989? ·         Why was there opposition to Soviet control in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968, and how did the USSR react to this opposition?Soviet power in Eastern Europe:
resistance to Soviet power in Hungary (1956) and Czechoslovakia (1968)
the Berlin Wall
Solidarity in Poland
Gorbachev and the collapse of Soviet control over Eastern Europe
10Brick wall Communicator – being able to consider the different perspectives and explain these effectively
 ·         How similar were events in Hungary in 1956 and in Czechoslovakia in 1968?    
 ·         Why was the Berlin Wall built in 1961?    
 ·         What was the significance of Solidarity in Poland for the decline of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe?     
 ·         How far was Gorbachev personally responsible for the collapse of Soviet control over Eastern Europe?