Leeds East Academy


Year 9 Options Process - History





Why study history?

People who study history are fearless explorers of the past. They investigate past politics, societies, cultures, languages, health, art, education, money, conflicts and more. They look at how things have developed over time to connect the dots to understand how we got where we are today.  

Here are 4 reasons why studying history is great for your future:  

1)History tells us about the future. Learning from past mistakes helps governments and businesses make better choices. For example, economists work with politicians to avoid future economic crashes by studying past events.  

2)History helps us see the bigger picture. In history we study many sources and learn that events often have complex causes. History gives us a more balanced outlook on the world.  

3)Studying history gives you loads of skills. History teaches us to ask two particularly important questions: Why and how? This will equip you with loads of important skills, from critical thinking and analysis, to communication, problem-solving and essay writing 

4)History leads to many different careers. With the analytical and detective skills you will have gained you will be primed for many different roles.  

Course Details

What will you study?

The subject content at GCSE enables you to investigate a broad and rich range of options drawn from different periods and diverse societies. Learners can investigate, analyse and evaluate historical figures and events from the broad range of options on offer. These include British History in depth e.g. Elizabethan England Non-British History in depth e.g. Weimar and Nazi Germany Broader national and international studies e.g. the development of the USA in the twentieth century Longer thematic studies exploring change and continuity over time e.g. changes in health and medicine in Britain. 

What skills will you develop?

GCSE History is the perfect subject to develop and assess a wide range of transferable skills for employment or further study:

  • Reaching conclusions and making judgements
  • Problem solving
  • Writing skills
  • Research skills
  • Independent study skills
  • Analytical and evaluative skills
  • Making connections

What topics will you learn?

-The Elizabethan Age, 1558-1558 

This option focuses in depth on selected themes and issues relating to the history of England during the Elizabethan Age, from 1558 to 1558. Candidates will be required to consider the major influences on political and social life during the period as well as the issue of religious controversy. Candidates should develop an awareness of how aspects of life in this period have been represented and interpreted, and how they have generated wider historical debate. They should also address the key questions in each topic area using a range of historical sources.  

-Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939 

This option focuses on the key trends and turning points that have affected the development of Germany between 1918 and 1939. Candidates will be required to consider the developments, events and personalities which have shaped the recent history of Germany. Candidates will be required to examine the major political, social, economic, and cultural perspectives which have affected the lives of the German people over the whole of this period. 

-Changes in Health and Medicine in Britain, c.1250 to the present day 

This option focuses thematically on the main trends in the history of health and medicine in Britain from c.1250 to the present day. Candidates will be required to consider the causes, treatment and prevention of illness and disease, advances in medical knowledge, developments in patient care and advances in public health and welfare over time. Candidates will also be required to examine the major political, social, economic, and cultural perspectives which have contributed to the development of health and medicine from c.500 to the present day. In this option a key focus will be on the issues of change, continuity, significance and turning points. As part of this option candidates will investigate the British sector of the Western Front 1914-1918 developing knowledge of the treatment of injuries in the first world war 

-Superpower relations and the cold war, 1941-1991 

The final option gives pupils the opportunity to focus on the origins of the cold war, the impact of Soviet and US relations leading to the formation of NATO. Pupils will understand the intensification of the cold war studying Berlin, the Cuban Missile crisis and the Prague spring ensuring they have a full range of knowledge for this period study 

Progression beyond GCSE

GCSE History provides a suitable foundation for the study of history or a wide range of other academic subjects at A level which in turn can lead to a variety of university degree courses. It provides crucial knowledge of the past as well as developing a broad range of transferable skills to help you understand your place in the world and find your path in the world of further education and work.

History at GCSE will prepare students for further study at college in any of the following areas:

  • History
  • Politics
  • English
  • Law
  • Classical studies
  • Journalism
  • RE/Theology
  • Sociology
  • Citizenship

Where will the course take you?

Because of the intellectual challenge the study of history provides learners with, it is a widely respected qualification to have and recognised by many colleges, universities, and employers.

Many people who study history go on to have successful careers in the following industries:

  • Education
  • Museum and Galleries
  • Research
  • Historian
  • Journalism
  • Politics
  • Libraries
  • Law
  • Film and TV production

Course structure and assessment

Paper 1 Thematic and historic environment 

Medicine in Britain c1250-present day and historic environment 

1 hour 15 minutes  

Paper 2- Period study and British dept Study  

Booklet P Period study Superpower relations and the cold war 

Booklet B British Depth study Early Elizabethan England 1558-1588 

1hour 45 minutes  

Paper 3 Modern depth Study  

Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939 

1 hour 20 minutes 

Student work


Example Answer: GCSE Style question

Further information