Explore the conflicts that have shaped our present
History IGCSE

An important foundation for writing and thinking skills whilst learning more about the workings of the world.


It is a useful introduction to key developments that marked 20th century world history. We observe the political transition of countries from democracy to dictatorship and the subsequent social and economic effects. We also study issues of division and tension, whether it be resistance to government on a local level or superpower relations on an international level. We also incorporate the teachings of other subjects, with politics dominating our study of the Cold War and economics underlying our analysis of the American economy during the boom.

In Year 4 you will study:

Development of dictatorship: Germany, 1918-1945 – An insight into how Germany slipped from parliamentary democracy as a Republic to one of the most formidable and frightening totalitarian states within months. We explore the dynamics of Nazism and its dramatic impact on Germany society.

The USA 1918-1941 – A look at how the USA became the world’s richest and most efficient economic power and then dived into the depths of severe depression following the Wall Street Crash. The election of President Roosevelt and his New Deal policies are an important case study for impressive recovery in the face of disaster.

In Year 5 you will study:

A world divided: superpower relations, 1943-1972 – The Second World War ended with the USA, Britain and USSR united as victors against Nazi Germany. This topic is a wonderful study of the change from unity to an atmosphere of tension, suspicion and misunderstanding with the rise of the Cold War. We observe the flashpoints which, at every instance, had everyone in anticipation of a Third World War.

Conflict, crisis and change: the Middle East, 1919-2012 – A broad study of the on-going tensions between Jews and the Arab communities of the Middle East, beginning with the rise of Zionism and Palestinian nationalism, the creation of Israel and the subsequent retaliatory wars, and the social changes working in parallel to the political instability. We study the refugee problem, the rise of terrorism and the actions of populist movements that add to the complexities of the political turmoil.


There are two papers of equal value, each with a time of 1 hour and 30 minutes. All together, they must answer one essay-type question on each of the four topics. The assessment aims towards students recalling, selecting and communicating their knowledge of history, providing explanation and analysis and interpreting source material.


This GCSE will stimulate critical thinking and the practice of carefully substantiated judgement. It is also particularly useful for promoting strong writing skills, expanding one’s vocabulary and evaluating interpretations. Students learn to organize, select and prioritize information by order of importance or by category. Above all, students learn to construct opinions effectively by employing evidence and discussing conflicting arguments.


Assessment is varied to provide opportunity for students to maximize their performance based on their strengths and to develop a range of skills:

  • Maximum 2 tests per semester
  • Short Essays (at home & in class) on a topic assigned
  • Practice of exam-style questions
  • In-class presentations on select topics
  • Creative projects such as mock debates, video productions, role play, musical performances and hot-seating


  • Source analysis
  • Evaluation of interpretations
  • Essay writing skills
  • Individual research skills
  • Presentation techniques
  • Paragraph writing
  • Respecting the opinions of others
  • Sophisticated critique of other opinions


In particular the top universities look for students with a sound cultural education of which History is certainly an essential part. To the educational value of History can be added its value for diverse professions. History provides an excellent background to all arts and social science careers. As an IGCSE subject, it is useful for careers in international relations/diplomacy, politics, architecture, archeology, museum work, teaching and all kinds of arts such as literature, philosophy, theology etc. The skills of investigation, critical thinking, weighing arguments and examining evidence which will be developed in History are very valuable in careers like law, journalism, media and communicational science, public relations, management and many others.

For further advice, please see the Head of Humanities

American Academy Larnaca Information
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