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History (HL and SL)

History increases your understanding of yourself and of contemporary society by encouraging reflection on the past. Paraphrased from IB History Subject Guide, 2017  

 History is a subject with relevance to, and resonance in today’s events, giving the context necessary to achieve a clearer understanding of those events, their roots and their effects. History taps into interests in language, literature, cartoons, photography and their uses and abuses as evidence. History opens doors to most subjects and careers, even in sciences, because academics and employers know that the skills of the historian are invaluable in assessing evidence, applying objectivity, reaching reasoned conclusions, dealing with a wealth of information in an effective and clear-minded way.   

Course content

At Standard Level we build on existing knowledge of the modern world to explore key topics in greater depth and with an understanding of differing perspectives; at Higher Level we go into less familiar but highly engaging territory, considering some of the changes in a turbulent, earlier period which still resonate today.  

Standard Level Higher Level
Students take a source-based course on rising world tensions in the 1930s; and an essay-based course on Authoritarian States in the 20th century and on the Cold War.   Standard Level options and an additional paper on the History of the Europe, focusing on the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries through studies of the Renaissance, exploration and discovery, and the political and cultural impact of the Reformation.  


  Standard Level Higher Level
Internal assessment Written assignment (25%)   Written assignment (20%)  
External assessment

The Move to Global War (30%)  

  Authoritarian States; the Cold War  


The Move to Global War (20%)  


 Authoritarian States; the Cold War (25%)  


History of Europe: Renaissance, Reformation, Exploration. (35%)  


IB History Students’ Conference, university lectures, essay competitions, Debate Club.  

Further study

In recent years, students have gained places to read History or a related subject at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Exeter, York and Manchester.  

History allows me to form my own opinions on the past. I believe it is very important that humanity can understand our history, because if we don't, there's no way we'll be able to understand our present, or even our future. Ellen