iGCSE History (4HIO)


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iGCSE History (4HIO)


Examining Board: Edexcel

Next Examination Period: May / June 2018

Final Examination Period: June 2018

Exam Specification Code: 4HIO

Oxford Learning College Course Code: IGHI



Oxford Learning College offers this full Edexcel International GCSE course in History in line with the requirements of the Edexcel exam board. On completion of this course students will be able to:

· Acquire knowledge and understanding of selected historical periods, vari9ous aspects of history as well as exploring the significance of key historical events, people, issues and changes over time.

· Use historical sources in a critical way, recording significant information about them and reaching appropriate conclusions.

· Organise and communicate their developing knowledge and understanding of the historical periods they are studying.

  • Draw conclusion and reach historical judgements.

What is History?

History, as its name suggests, is a study of the past. It is certainly true to say that in order to understand the conflicts and difficulties of the present world you need to understand what has happened over previous years. Many of today’s politicians and world leaders are well aware of the events of the past and often use them as guidelines in dealing with present problems and crises. History encourages you to absorb and learn key facts and data before analysing which pieces of information are the most important and most significant. A key skill of any historian is to make an informed judgement on an important historical issue having weighed up all of the information and evidence available.

All of the information within the units is written in line with the requirements of the Edexcel examination board specification. All units are broken down into clear chronological periods and topics, and students should spend the amount of time studying for each topic as advised by their course tutor.

There are regular short questions set throughout each unit, and key words and definitions are also highlighted and explained. At the end of each module there is a formal tutor-marked assessment (TMA) which is based on an actual exam-style question. When completed it should be sent to your tutor for marking.

This course focuses on late 19th and 20th century world History, specifically in relation to Russia’s development into the Soviet Union, China throughout the 20th century and Europe during the Cold War. Key historical figures covered by the course include Lenin, Stalin, Kennedy, Khrushchev, Reagan, Gorbachev and Mao. Students are required to demonstrate understanding of the key events, people, features, characteristics, changes and issues in the specified periods of history covered.

The modules link together and complement each other, and by the end of studying the course the students should be able to make links between them and have a fuller understanding of some key historical events of the 20th century. This qualification provides excellent opportunity to progress to the study of Advanced Level History.

The full specification can be accessed via the following link:


Course Content

Source: Edexcel (www.edexcel.com)

Exam Code: 4HI0

Unit One:

Autocracy and Revolt in Russia, 1881-1914

  • The reign of Alexander III
  • Problems facing Nicholas II, 1894-1905
  • The 1905 Revolution
  • The Dumas and Stolypin
  • The growth of opposition to Tsarist Rule


Unit Two:

A world divided: Superpower relations, 1945-62

  • Reasons for the Cold War
  • Early developments in the Cold War, 1945-49
  • The Cold War in the 1950s
  • The Berlin Crisis of 1961
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis

Unit Three:

The fall of Communism in Europe, 1979-91

  • Solidarity Movement in Poland
  • Economic problems in the Soviet Union
  • The policies of Gorbachev
  • Developments in eastern Europe, 1988-90
  • The Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia
  • The reunification of Germany


Unit Four:

Conflict, crisis and change: China c.1911-1989

· China 1911-34

  • The triumph of Mao and the CCP, 1934–49
  • Change under Mao, 1949–63
  • The impact of the Cultural Revolution
  • China, 1969-89

Assessment and format of the exam (first exam June 2014)

The Edexcel International GCSE History course consists of two external examination papers:

Paper One (4HI0/01):

  • In Paper One, students answer two ‘depth study’ questions (one from unit one and one from unit two), with each question being worth 25 marks. Students must only answer from the two topics that they have studied (Russia 1881-1914 and Superpower Relations, 1945-62) as there will be nine topics on the exam paper (as centres study different options). Students are advised to spend one hour 30 minutes on this paper (45 minutes per question/topic).

(50 marks in total)

Paper Two (4HI0/02):

  • In Paper Two, students answer one ‘historical investigation’ (from a choice of six) and one ‘breadth of study in change’ (from a choice of seven) with each question again worth 25 marks. This paper focuses more on the understanding of historical investigation of change over time and analysis of source and stimulus material. Students must again only answer from the topic that they have studied (unit 3, The fall of Communism in Europe 1979-91 and unit 4, China: Conflict, crisis and change, c.1911-1989). Students are advised to spend one hour 30 minutes on this paper (45 minutes per question/topic).

Total examination time: 3 hours

Total marks available- 100 marks.

Assessment Objectives

Marks are awarded from A* to G (with grades A*-C a pass).

Students are required to indicate the following skills (100% in total):

Knowledge (37%)- *more significant on paper one

  • Recall, select, organise and deploy knowledge of the specification content and communicate it through description, explanation and analysis of:
  • The events, people, changes and issues involved.
  • The key features and characteristics of the periods, topics and societies studied.

Explanation and Analysis (36%)

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the past through explanation and analyse of, and judgements about, key features and the concepts of history in causation, consequence and change.

Source analysis (27%)- *more significant on paper two

  • Use a range of source material to comprehend, interpret and cross-reference sources and evaluate historical claims.

Entry Requirements

Basic English reading and writing skills, as full tutor support is given.

Study Hours

Variable by student commitment


Edexcel International GCSE in History. All units must be studied in preparation for an exam in order to gain the qualification.


If you are based outside the UK, it may be possible to sit your examination through your local British Council, depending on your location. Please contact the examination board EDEXCEL for details on examination centres in your country.

Additional Information

Book List

· Access to History: Reaction and Revolutions: Russia 1881-1924, Michael Lynch, (2000)

· Access to History: ‘The People's Republic of China Since 1949’, Michael Lynch (2nd edn., 2008)

· Access to History: ‘China: From Empire to People's Republic 1900-49’, Michael Lynch, (2nd edn., 2010)

· GCSE Modern World History for Edexcel, ‘Peace and War: International Relations 1945-1991’.Steve Waugh & John Wright, (2009)

· Mao's China, c.1930–76 GCSE Modern World History ’, (online resource):


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