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History - Pre-University at Watford Grammar School for Girls

Course description

Awarding Body: Cambridge International

 The History Department also teaches a Pre-U History course for Year 12 and 13 students, as an alternative option to the AS/A2 History courses.

The Pre-U History course will be taught throughout Years 12 and 13 with external examinations at the end of Year 13. It will be possible for students to take this course alongside AS (Year 12) and A2 (Year 13) courses in other subjects, but they will be set Pre-U History work to do during AS study leave in May/early June.

The Pre-U course will be taught by two teachers over two years.

Course content

1. British Outline (b): 1461-1603 (Sections 2 & 3)

This course includes the Wars of the Roses from the reign of Edward IV and Tudor History, both domestic and foreign policy, from Henry VII to Elizabeth I.

2. European Outlines (c): 1815-1914 (Sections 4 & 5)

This course investigates the development of Modern Europe from the end of the Napoleonic War (1815) to the beginning of the First World War (1914). Students will study the history of France, Russia, Italy and Germany 1815-1914 as well as international relations leading to the First World War.

Special Subject: (to be studied in Year 13)

Paper 5f: The French Revolution 1774-1794

This course will investigate the causes and events of the French Revolution up to 1794. It will be assessed by a 2 hour examination at the end of Year 13 worth 25% of total marks. There is a compulsory source-based question worth 10% of total Pre-U marks and one essay question out of a choice of three worth 15% of total Pre-U marks. If time is available at the end of this course students will study France 1794-1815, including Napoleon, to give them additional choice of questions in Outline Paper 2c.

Personal Investigation: (to be completed in Year 13)

Students will also conduct their own Personal Investigation into a historical topic of their own choice and write an extended essay 3500-4000 words, worth 25% of total Pre-U marks. The title will be chosen by the students and approved by the CIE examination board. Students will be guided by one teacher on how to approach their Personal Investigation, formulate their title and conduct research but teachers are not allowed to take in drafts for correction and the final essay will be marked externally.

Entry requirements

Grade A in GCSE History, grade B in GCSE History may be considered in cases of individual merit.


Candidates will take two outline papers (to be studied over two years).

• At the end of both courses in Year 13 students will sit two examination papers, answering 3 essay questions from at least 2 sections in each paper.

• There will be 5 questions in each section based on about 7 topics.

• Examination: 2 hours 15 minutes for each paper - worth 25% each.

Future opportunities

The Pre-U qualification is highly regarded by top universities.

Further information

Students who wish to opt for the Pre-U History course should indicate this clearly on their options form.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Watford Grammar School for Girls directly.

Last updated date: 26 May 2015
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