History is particularly important in the modern world where different cultures and traditions are required to understand one another. History is concerned with individuals and societies in the widest context: political, social, economic, religious, technological and cultural. It is concerned with trends and developments, with continuity and change through time, and with specific happenings.

Historical knowledge rests on widely accepted evidence derived from a variety of sources, but also draws on information of a more tenuous nature. Historical accounts involve judgements based on qualitative evidence although these judgements may be provisional. Every generation rewrites its own history in the light of new evidence and subsequent events and processes, and this is under the influence of its particular attitudes and prejudices.

The process of historical enquiry, explanation and interpretation is a never ending activity, for which historians have developed values and conventions which themselves change over time.

The aims of the History programme at both Higher and Standard Levels are to promote: the acquisition and understanding of historical knowledge in breadth and in depth and across different cultures; a developing appreciation and understanding of history as a discipline, including the nature and diversity of its sources, methods and interpretations; international awareness and understanding by promoting the achievement of empathy with, and understanding of, people living in diverse places and at different times; a better understanding of the present through an understanding of the past; an appreciation of the historical dimension of the human condition; an ability to use and communicate historical knowledge and understanding; a lasting interest in history.

On completion of the programme at Higher or Standard level, students should be able to: demonstrate historical understanding through the acquisition, selection and effective use of knowledge; present clear, concise, relevant and well-substantiated arguments; evaluate, interpret and use source material critically as historical evidence; identify and evaluate different approaches to, and interpretations of, historical events and topics; explain the causes and effects of historical continuity and change.

Standard Level

Students study the following twentieth century world history topics: causes, practices and effects of war; the rise and rule of single-party states; and the Cold War.

In addition, students undertake an in-depth study on any historical subject of their choice. The teacher assists the student to make the choice and provides advice on the area of study, sources, exact focus and format and structure.

Topics studied in IB Higher and Standard Level History include: The Cold War, International Relations 1919 – 1945, Apartheid in South Africa, Weimar Germany and the rise of Hitler, Fascism in Italy and the rise and rule of Mussolini, Vietnam, Cambodia and Pol Pot 1965 – 1978, the rise of Communism in Russia and the Second World War. 

Internal Assessment
Report on the in-depth study of up to 2000 words. (20%)
External Examinations
Paper 1: A document-based paper set on prescribed subjects drawn from the twentieth century world history topics. (1 hour, 20%)
Paper 2: An essay paper based on the twentieth century world history topics. (1.5 hours, 25%)
Paper 3: An essay paper based on the regional option: Europe. (2.5 hours, 35%)



Year 11 and 12 - VCE