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YCIS IBDP History | 20th Century World History

This course will explore the 20th Century world and the conflicts and interventions that took place over the course of the century.

If you are interested in studying this online subject, please see the relevant Academic Coordinator
YCIS IBDP History | 20th Century World History
YCIS IBDP History | 20th Century World History

Time & Location

22 Aug 2022, 08:00 – 23 Jun 2023, 15:00

Online Course

About the Online Course

Subject Name: IBDP History

Subject Title: 20th Century World History

Overview of the Course:

This course will explore the 20th Century world and the conflicts and interventions that took place over the course of the century.

The IB Diploma Programme (DP) history course is a world history course based on a comparative and multi- perspective approach to history. It involves the study of a variety of types of history, including political, economic, social and cultural, and provides a balance of structure and flexibility. The course emphasises the importance of encouraging students to think historically and to develop historical skills as well as gaining factual knowledge. It puts a premium on developing the skills of critical thinking, and on developing an understanding of multiple interpretations of history. In this way, the course involves a challenging and demanding critical exploration of the past.

There are options for Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL). See below for the differences between the SL and HL in terms of assessments.

Course Objectives:

The aims of the history course at SL and HL are to: 

  • - develop an understanding of, and continuing interest in, the past
  • - encourage students to engage with multiple perspectives and to appreciate the complex nature of historical concepts, issues, events and developments
  • - promote international-mindedness through the study of history from more than one region of the world
  • - develop  an understanding of history as a discipline and to develop historical consciousness including a sense of chronology and context, and an understanding of different historical perspectives
  • - develop key historical skills, including engaging effectively with sources
  • - increase students’ understanding of themselves and of contemporary society by encouraging reflection on the past.

Course Content

Prescribed Topic: Conflict and Intervention

This is based around two cases studies – Rwanda (1980 – 1998) and Kosovo (1989-2002). The first case study focuses on the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, beginning with the outbreak of civil war in Rwanda in 1990 and ending with the establishment of the International Criminal Court in 1998. The second case study focuses on events surrounding the war in Kosovo from 1998–1999, beginning with the escalating ethnic tensions in Kosovo from 1989 onwards, through to the elections of 2002.

World History Topics: Authoritarian States (20th Century) and Causes and Effects of 20thCentury Wars.

Our study of Authoritarian States in the 20th century will explore the emergence, consolidation and maintenance of power, including the impact of the leaders’ policies, both domestic and foreign, upon the maintenance of power. We will examine and discuss different Authoritarian States from Asia, Europe, and South America.

Our study of the causes and effects of 20th century will explore the causes of wars, as well as the way in which warfare was conducted, including types of war, the use of technology, and the impact these factors had upon the outcome. While we will discuss the First and Second World Wars as cross regional wars, the large focus will be wars in different regions such as Africa and the Middle East, The Americas, Asia, and Europe.

HL ONLY: Regional Depth Study – History of Asia and Oceania

Topics that we will examine are:

· The People’s Republic of China 1949-2005

· Cold War Conflict in Asia

· India, Afghanistan and Burma (1750-1919)

· Impacts of the Second World War on South-East Asia

Internal Assessment:

25% of the final assessment for the course for Standard Level Students

20% of the final assessment for the course for Higher Level Students

All students complete a historical investigation into a historical topic of their choice. The internal assessment allows flexibility for students to select a topic of personal interest. The topic need not be related to the syllabus and students should be encouraged to use their own initiative when deciding on a topic. The free choice of topic means that the historical investigation provides a particularly good opportunity for students to engage with topics that are of personal interest, or topics related to their own local or national history. The topic must be historical and therefore should not have happened within the last 10 years.

This requires approximately 20 hours of work for the project and cannot exceed 2,200 words.

External Assessment:

There are two externally assessed papers for SL students and three for HL students.

Paper 1 – Prescribed Topic

1 Hour

30% for Standard Level

20% for Higher Level

Paper 1 is a source-based examination paper based on the prescribed subjects. Each prescribed subject consists of two specified case studies, and in each examination session the paper will focus on one of the two case studies specified for each prescribed subject.

The maximum mark for this paper is 24.

Paper 2 – World History Topics

1 hour and 30 minutes

45% for Standard Level

25% for Higher Level

Students must answer two questions, each selected from a different topic. Some comparative questions on this paper require that examples be drawn from more than one region. When the word “region” is used in a paper 2 question, it refers to one of the four regional options defined by the world map in the introduction to the world history topics in the “World history topics” section.

The maximum mark for this paper is 30.

Paper 3 - Higher Level Students ONLY

2 hours and 30 minutes

35% for Higher Level

The paper 3 examination paper for each regional option will consist of 36 questions, consisting of two essay questions for the regional option. Students must answer any three questions. Questions that refer to specific countries, events or people are restricted to those listed in the syllabus descriptions.

The maximum mark for this paper is 45.

Subject Pathway:

Prescribed Topic: 

Conflict and Intervention

World History Topics: 

Authoritarian States (20th Century)

Causes and effects of 20th Century Wars

Regional History – Higher Level ONLY:

Asia and Oceania

The People’s Republic of China 1949-2005

Cold War Conflict in Asia

India, Afghanistan and Burma (1750-1919)

Impact of the Second World War in Asia

Internal Assessment: 

2,200 Word Research Paper based on any Historical topic of their own choosing

Option for Extended Essay

History is an excellent subject choice for the Extended Essay (EE). Students will undertake a research project based around a topic of their own choosing and write a 4000 word paper about it. Please note that the research and writing done for the Internal Assessment cannot be the same for the Extended Essay.

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