Department | History2021-01-18T21:59:42+00:00

Department | History



Mr. S. Maclaine
Head of Department
Mr. O. Millar
Mr. P. Graham

Subject Information

The study of history is about more than memorising dates and learning about the actions of famous figures from the past. It is a chronicle of human behaviour: a real-life drama full of villains and heroes. It examines the circumstances that led to the transformation of people and places.

Studying history gives us opportunities to better understand our past and avoid repeating the same mistakes. History holds the answers to how and why our lives are shaped as they are today.

Studying History helps students to develop skills that are useful in the workplace and for future study. These include researching and organising information, analysing and evaluating evidence, and reaching a conclusion they can substantiate. They also learn to think critically and ask questions, identify patterns and trends, and formulate and write a coherent argument. These important skills also help students in other subjects. They discuss their ideas with others, work on group tasks, present their ideas and work independently, developing life skills required in the workplace.

The CCEA GCSE History specification provides opportunities to study a range of topics, from Hitler’s dictatorship, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Northern Ireland’s civil unrest, to the USA’s response to 9/11.

This specification is unitised, so we aim to take part of the assessment at the end of the first year of study.

The specification has two units:

Unit 1: Section A: Modern World Studies in Depth and Section B: Local Study – within this we study ‘Life in Nazi Germany, 1933-1945 and ‘Changing Relations: Northern Ireland and its Neighbours, 1965–98’. (Worth 60% of final qualification)

Unit 2: Outline Study International Relations, 1945–2003. This unit covers a range of events from the time period known as the Cold War and takes us up to and including the recent War on Terror which developed throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. (Worth 40% of final qualification)

The A Level specification contains four units, two at AS (40%) and two at A2 (60%)

  • Unit AS 1: Historical Investigations and Interpretations

    • We study AS 1: Option 5 – Germany 1919-45

  • Unit AS 2: Historical Conflict and Change

    • We study AS 2: Option 5 – Russia 1914-41

  • Unit A2 1: Change Over Time

    • We study A2 1: Option 2 – Ireland Under the Union 1800-1900

  • Unit A2 2: Historical Investigations and Interpretations

    • We study A2 2: Option 4 – The Partition of Ireland 1900-25


There are numerous careers that are available once a person has a degree in History. They are too numerous to list here; therefore, follow the hyperlink to a useful page highlighting the options and explanations on each.

The most prominent careers would be working as an Academic researcher, Archivist, Heritage manager, Historic buildings inspector/conservation officer, Museum education officer, Museum/gallery curator, Museum/gallery exhibitions officer and Secondary school teacher. That said, the qualification is a useful passport to a wide range of jobs and professions.

  • Louis Theroux (Filmmaker, author, broadcaster and journalist)

  • Prince Charles (Member of the Royal family and heir to the throne)

  • Sacha Baron Cohen (Actor and director)

  • Gordon Brown (former Prime Minister)

  • Anita Roddick (Founder of The Body Shop)

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