Cambridge IGCSE Subject Briefs: History

Timothy Hoffmann

Cambridge IGCSE Subject Briefs: History. This subject brief covers the History syllabus.

The Cambridge IGCSE History Course is situated in modern history, looking at some of the major international issues of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries including the First World War, the Communist Revolutions in both China and Russia, and the civil rights movement in the USA. The course aims to place emphasis on historical knowledge, the use of historical evidence, and on the skills required for historical research. Students are taught to appreciate multiple forms of historical analysis – such as cause and effect, continuity and change and similarity and difference. Broadly, the course aims to encourage students to have an international understanding of different contemporaneous historical events, encouraging the pursuit of personal interest in the subject.

Topics covered:

You can take one of two routes depending on your school.

Route Topic Overview
A The 19th century: The Development of Modern Nation States, 1848–1914 Section A: Unification of Italy and Germany; Civil War in the US; Imperialism and the European Empire; The First World War
Section B: One In-Depth Case Study e.g. World War 1, Germany 1918-45, China 1930-1990 etc.
B The 20th century: International Relations since 1919 Section A: WW1 Peace Treaties; The development of the League of Nations; Causes of WW2; The Cold War
Section B: One In-Depth Case Study e.g. World War 1, Germany 1918-45, China 1930-1990 etc.

 

For more information on each topic area, check out the Cambridge syllabus.

Assessment and Grading:

Depending on the curriculum you choose to follow, you will sit three out of four exam papers. All candidates take paper 1 and 2, and schools will choose if you are to take paper 3 (coursework option) or paper 4 (alternative to coursework). Again, check the syllabus for specific information on each paper, but you can see the main structure of each exam below:

Paper 1
Time 2 hours
Number of marks 60
Percentage of total grade 40%
Type of questions Structured essay responses; 2 from section A and 1 from section B

 

Paper 2
Time 2 hours
Number of marks 50
Percentage of total grade 33%
Type of questions Six questions on one prescribed topic taken from Section A

 

Paper 3: Coursework
Time
Number of marks 40
Percentage of total grade 27%
Type of questions Extended writing based on a Depth Study from the syllabus or from your school

 

Paper 4: Alternative to Coursework
Time 1 hour
Number of marks 40
Percentage of total grade 27%
Type of questions One response on an in depth study