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History (Group 3: Individuals and Societies)

All students, higher and standard level, look at several topics from the DP history syllabus in detail.  These are:

The Arab-Israeli conflict (1945 – 1979)

This topic uses a variety of sources to investigate the origins of the conflict, the role of the rest of the world, the series of clashes in the area (including the 1948-9 war, the 1956 Suez Crisis, the Six Day War and the 1973 October war) and the Egyptian–Israeli peace process of the 1970s.

The Cold War

Forming part of the final essay paper, we examine the origins of the Cold War (origins, process, and consequences). We look at how the Cold War developed in the 1950s and 1960s, and examine how if affected different parts of the world, including Asia (Korean War, Vietnam War), the Americas (Cuba) and Europe (especially Germany).

Democratic states: challenges and responses

We look at how democracies around the world have dealt with different challenges throughout the 20th century.  Our study includes de Gaulle’s France (1958 – 1969), Japan (1945 – 1952) and the USA (1953 – 1973).

All students also complete one historical investigation (history coursework) at the end of grade 11. Students can choose any historical topic of interest (which could be related to the course, but does not have to be) to complete their history coursework.  Students are given the opportunity to form a research question, and use a variety of sources to find the evidence to answer it.

Higher Level Students will also look at the region of the Americas during the 20th century, focusing on the domestic and foreign policies of the USA, Cuba and Brazil.


  • Internal assessment:
    • Historical investigation (1500 - 2000 words) – SL 25%, HL 20%
  • Paper 1 (HL/SL):
    • Source analysis paper – 5 source questions (1 hour)
      Topic: the Arab-Israeli conflict
  • Paper 2 (HL/SL):
    • Essay paper – 2 timed essays (1.5 hours)
      Topics: The Cold War and Democratic States
  • Paper 3 (HL):
    • Essay paper – 3 timed essays (2.5hrs)
      Topics: USA (1920s – 1970s)
      Cuba under Castro
      Brazil under Vargas
      Civil Rights in the Americas

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