History International GCSE

Develop and expand your knowledge and understanding of key historical events, people and societies, and learn how to ask relevant questions about the past.

This course is one of our new Gold Star International GCSEs. Find out more about them here.



Course requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this course, but you need to be able to read and write in English. This is an online course so you will also need access to the internet.

Duration of study

It's really up to you but, as a guide, a GCSE course takes about 120-150 hours plus extra time for assignment work you submit to your tutor. You will have tutor support for a period of up to 18 months from the date of enrolment.


This course follows specification 4HI1 from the awarding organisation Edexcel. Full details of the specification can be obtained from Edexcel's website.


Section 1 - Germany between the wars
  • Germany 1918-1919
  • Early problems of the Weimar Republic 1919-1922
  • The events of 1923
  • The recovery of Germany 1924-1929

Section 2 - The rise of the Nazis
  • The growth of the Nazi Party to 1929
  • The Nazi breakthrough 1929-1933
  • Germany 1933-1934
  • Nazi methods of control
  • Nazi social policies

Section 3 - War and downfall
  • Nazi economic policies 1933-1939
  • Nazi racial policies
  • The Home Front

Section 4 - Russia 1905-1917
  • Tsarist rule to 1905
  • Tsarist rule 1905-1914
  • Opposition to Tsarist rule 1914-1917
  • The Provisional Government
  • The Bolshevik Revolution

Section 5 - Russia and the Soviet Union 1917-1924
  • Bolshevik consolidation of power
  • The Civil War
  • War Communism
  • New Economic Policy (NEP)

Section 6 - Dictatorship in the USSR 1924-1953
  • The leadership struggle 1924-1929
  • Collectivisation and Five-Year Plans
  • Purges and show trials
  • The cult of Stalin

Section 7 - Soviet life in peace and war 1924-1953
  • Living and working in the Soviet Union 1924-1941
  • Education and ethnic minorities 1924-1941
  • World War II 1941-1945
  • Post-war to 1953

Section 8 - The changing nature of warfare 1919-1939
  • Changing methods of warfare 1914-1918
  • The Spanish Civil War
  • Aerial warfare in the inter-war years

Section 9 - War on land, sea and air 1939-1945
  • Changing methods of land warfare 1939-1943
  • D-Day and resistance
  • Changing methods of air warfare 1939-1945
  • Changing methods of sea warfare 1939-1945

Section 10 - New forms of conflict 1945-2011
  • The nuclear age 1945-1975
  • Conventional and guerrilla warfare 1945-1975
  • Conventional and 'new' wars 1976-2000
  • The 21st century 2000-2011

Exams and assessment

Two exams:
  • 1 hour 30 minutes, 50% of marks
  • 1 hour 30 minutes, 50% of marks

Non-exam assessment (NEA):
  • None


Assignments do not contribute towards your final grade but provide you with an opportunity to submit work to your tutor for marking and feedback. This will help you to gauge your progress as you work through the course.

This course has:
  • 1 introductory assignment
  • 10 assignments

Set texts and resources

There are no essential set texts. The course includes some recommended books that you may wish to refer to for additional reading.

Using learn@nec

Your course is delivered online through learn@nec, so it’s important that you have access to a computer and the internet. We recommend that your computer is using one of the following operating systems and browsers to improve your experience of using learn@nec:

Operating systems:
  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OSX 10.7 or later
  • Google Chrome OS
  • Android 4.4 or later, using the Chrome browser
  • iOS 6 or later, using the Safari browser

  • Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari 6 or later
  • Internet Explorer 10 or later (excluding IE11)

learn@nec may work on other operating systems and browsers with some restrictions. You can see full details of the system requirements by clicking here.

How to enrol

There are several ways to enrol with NEC:
  • Click the ‘Enrol now’ button above.
  • Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team.
  • Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.

Paying in instalments

It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or you can spread the cost over monthly instalments with our finance offer. To pay in instalments you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative example:
Course fee:  
Amount of credit:  
Monthly payment:  
Duration of agreement:  
Total repayable:  
Rate of interest:  
0% APR representative.  
  6 months
  0% (fixed)

The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.

Deko is a trading name of Pay4Later Ltd who act as a credit intermediary. They are registered in England and Wales (company number 06447333) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 728646). For more information please go to www.dekopay.com/faq or visit www.dekopay.com.
Including area code and country code (if outside of UK)

IGCSE History Course Sample

Thank you for your interest in this course.

Please fill out your details below, and you will receive an email containing a link to download the course sample.