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Languages & Culture

History GCSE

The GCSE History course has been developed to enable learners to study key events in world history and improve their understanding on how this shaped modern society.

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Level 2 / AQA GCSE / OSC47

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Online study
Paper study
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over 12 months and £ deposit

over 12 months and £ deposit


Course summary


Course support

12 months expert tutor support


24 hour access

Unlimited Submissions



Fully accredited course


Awarding body


Course introduction

The primary goal of this GCSE course is to provide learners with a strong foundation of knowledge upon which to build their passion for history.

Whether you are interested in pursuing this subject into further education (A Level or Degree) or you simply want to satisfy your desire to know more about the UK and global events over the past 1000 years; this 12 month course can provide you with all the tools you need to make this possible.

In fact, this course has been purposefully designed for home study to give you the freedom to learn on your own terms - no classrooms, no pressure.

Instead at a time, pace and location of your choosing, you can explore: 1890s-1940s Russia and the influence of Communism; the origins of the Cold War; authority and feudalism, and the impact of parliament and plots within Restoration England. More importantly, you can acquire a fully accredited qualification.

It’s true! This course can offer you the EXACT SAME GCSE History qualification that you would earn by attending a school or college.

And this is perfect if you’re looking to get back into education, as you can easily combine this 4 unit course with your current work, family and social commitments, AND achieve a healthy work-study balance. There is no need to sacrifice. You can make this course work for YOU whilst still being able to delve into a subject you love.

Required knowledge

No previous knowledge or experience is needed in order to enrol onto this GCSE History course, making it ideal for anyone first starting out in this subject.


This course is assessed using a series of exams that are designed to test your knowledge and understanding of the course syllabus. These exams are separate from the course and will have to be booked and paid for by yourself. For more information on our chosen test centres, please speak to our support team.

To achieve this qualification you will need to do 2 paper based exams:

Paper One: Understanding the modern world – this 2 hour exam makes up to 50% of your grade and is split into two sections. In Section A, there will be a choice of four period studies, each with a focus on two key developments in a country’s history spanning over a 50 year period. You will have to answer six compulsory questions. In Section B, you will be given a choice of five wider world depth studies with a focus on international conflict and tension. You will need to answer four compulsory questions.

Paper Two: Shaping the nation – this 2 hour written exam makes up to 50% of your GCSE grade and is split into two sections. In Section A, you will be given a choice of three thematic studies which will examine key developments in Britain over a long time period. You will need to answer four compulsory questions. In Section B, you will be given a choice of four British depth studies that incorporate the study of a specific historic environment. You will need to answer four compulsory questions.

In addition to these exams, you will also be expected to submit a variety of tutor-marked assignments. These are designed to monitor your progress and enable your tutor to provide you with valuable advice and feedback on how to maximise your learning.

Please note: Students are fully responsible for the arrangement and funding of any examinations required.

Awarding organisation

Upon successful completion of this course, you will receive a GCSE in History awarded by the AQA that will be graded based on the new 9-1 scale (9 being the highest grade and equivalent to A* under the old system).

The AQA (The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance) are renowned for promoting education for the public benefit and drawing upon years of experience in setting and marking public exams such as GCSEs, A-levels and other qualifications. AQA is the largest of the three English exam boards, awarding 49% of full course GCSEs and 42% of A-levels nationally. In total, students take over 3.5 million exams with them each year.

Course modules

Unit 1: Period studies: Russia 1894-1941 Tsardom and Communism
• The end of Tsardom
• Lenin’s new society
• Stalin’s USSR

Unit 2: Wider world depth studies: Conflict and 10sion between East and West, 1945-1972
• The origins of the Cold War
• The development of the Cold War
• Transformation of the Cold War

Unit 3: Thematic studies: Power and the people: c1170 to the present day
• Challenging authority and feudalism
• Challenging royal authority
• Reform and reformers
• Equality and rights

Unit 4: British depth studies including the historic environment: Restoration England, 1660-1685
• Crown, Parliament, plots and court life
• Life in restoration England
• Land, trade and war
• The historic environment of Restoration England

Learner support

This course is provided in online format. After enrolment you will receive login details to access the course materials. 

You will get full tutor support via email and receive feedback on your assignments from expert tutors.

You will be given guidance through the Study Guide on the nuts and bolts of studying and submitting assignments.

You must have access to email in order to contact your tutor.

The course materials and support will be provided by our partner OSC.


What is distance learning?

Distance learning is the most flexible and convenient approach to studying. There is no need for you to attend college and, therefore, you can study anytime, any place, anywhere that fits in with your lifestyle. Distance learning programmes are ideal for people who may have a full-time job, or other commitments, that won’t allow them time off to study.

What do I need to do to get started on a course?

You'll need to be able to commit the required time to your studies. We recommend that you choose a course you think will interest you, and help you to achieve your ambitions. If you would like some advice, or further information, please call our helpline free on 0333 3445 690.

To purchase a course, simply click on the ‘Buy now’ button against your chosen course and follow the on screen instructions. Alternatively if you would prefer to purchase the course over the phone, call 0333 3445 690 and speak to one of our expert course advisors.

How does the distance learning/home study method work?

The course operates through a study pack and access to your own personal tutor. Once you have chosen your course we will send you your study pack, which you will be required to work through before completing the course.

Depending on the course you have chosen, you will either be required to complete assignments and submit these for marking as the course progresses and/or be required to sit an end exam. The end exam could be in the form of multiple choice questions, or be an invigilated exam at a registered test centre.

Your completed assignments will need to be sent to your tutor for marking/assessment, you will then receive written feedback and guidance. It may be possible to submit your assignments by email, however you will need to check this with your tutor. Please be aware that your assignments will be maintained by NCCHL for moderation and audit purposes.

These requirements will always be listed on the course description page, so please refer to this for details of what is required for each individual course.

How long should it take to complete a course?

Depending on the course you have chosen, and the amount of time you can commit, it could take from 6 weeks to 12 months to complete your course.

The duration of the course is largely down to you though. The beauty of home learning is that it allows you complete flexibility to fit your studies around your lifestyle and other commitments. You can dedicate as much, or as little, time as you want to your studies - no one will be chasing you for your work or asking why you haven’t submitted an assignment.

We do strongly recommend, though, that before you purchase a course you assess your ability to commit the necessary time to completing the course in a timeframe that will not leave you losing your motivation.

How quickly will I receive my course material?

We guarantee that you will receive your course materials within 5 days of purchase, but for many courses we would anticipate that you will have to wait no more than 48 hours.

The course materials are always sent to you via a tracked courier service, to ensure that you receive your study pack within our stated period.

How much will it cost?

The cost is largely dependent on the type of the course. The longer the course is the higher the cost will be, due to the size of the study pack and the nature of the qualification.

All prices are clearly stated on the course description page and will always be displayed prior to you committing to purchase a course.

Please note that there may be additional fees required should your course have an external assessment, such as A Levels, ICB qualifications etc. To clarify, please speak to a course advisor.

What support will I receive?

You will be allocated your own personal tutor who can be contacted via e-mail, telephone, fax or post for help and advice on any aspect of the course.

Many courses require that you submit work to your tutor during the period of study and your tutor will assess your work and pass comments back to you. Your tutor is available to you as much as you need them.

Please be aware that officially the tutor support provided with the course is for a period of 12 months, although if you need longer let us know and we’ll endeavour to extend that.

Will I have to sit an examination?

All of our courses are accredited, so you need to show that you have acquired the knowledge to pass the course – this may involve sitting an examination, but it depends on the course you have chosen.

Some courses require you to be continually assessed throughout the course, while others may require an end of course exam or assignment (which may be completed at home) to be submitted to your tutor.

Certain types of qualifications, A-levels and GCSEs for example, do require you to sit an invigilated exams at a registered test centre. You will need to organise and pay for the examinations yourself, however full details of what you need to do will be available from the centre who are delivering the qualification.

If in doubt, please email ‘’, NCC can then discuss or put you in touch directly with the course provider.

Can I study from outside the UK?

Yes, there are no geographical limits to where you can study.

You just need to be aware that all tutors are based in the UK and work may need to be submitted to them via post, although in most cases e-mail can be used.

Where the course requires that you sit an invigilated exam at a test centre, there are many exam centres outside of the UK. However, we would advise that you check with us before purchasing one of these courses if you want to study from abroad.

Will I receive a qualification when I complete the course?

All of our courses are accredited and you will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course.

For more information about this please see the section of the website that details how awarding bodies work and what the different types of qualifications are.

Can I take more than one course at a time?

Yes, you can take as many courses as your time allows. But we would recommend that you clearly evaluate how much time you can commit to your courses of study.

The good news is though that if your circumstances change you can always take a break and come back to your studies.

Additionally, discounts are available if you buy more than one course at the same time.

How long will it take for my work to be marked by my tutor?

Your work will be marked and feedback returned to you within 12 working days after submission. This is because our tutors are required to provide detailed, considered feedback to our learners that may take a while to formulate. We find that by working this way, our learners actually complete their course in less time, as they rarely need to submit an assignment more than twice.

Whilst it is possible to submit multiple assignments at the same time, we advise that our learners submit only one at a time. We want our learners to develop as they progress through their course, and find this is best achieved when a student embarks on a new module having taken into account tutor feedback from the previous submission.

Do I need any additional books or equipment to do my course?

No, we provide everything you need to pass your course.

How do I enrol?

Once you have chosen your course, you can either purchase the course online which will enrol you, or you can call our helpline on 0333 3445 690 who will sign you up for the course and arrange to have all your learning materials sent to you.

What if I’ve chosen the wrong course?

If, after receiving the course, you decide it isn’t the right course for you, you can simply return the goods within 14 days and we will send your money back in full for the majority of courses (excluding postage and packaging) or you can choose another course that you feel would suit your needs and ambitions better.

What is the difference between the online and paper versions of courses?

Our online courses are completed through our online learning system after receiving login and access instructions. You will not receive any course materials through the post. The paper based version is posted out in a binder to your home or place of work and requires completion of a portfolio of work that is submitted to your tutor for marking.

Where can I find your Equality and Diversity Policy?

All NCC policies and procedures can be provided on request from NCC directly by emailing or calling 0333 3445 690.

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