3.3 Shaping the nation

3.3.1 Section A: Thematic studies

2A Britain: Health and the people: c1000 to the present day

This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of how medicine and public health developed in Britain over a long period of time. It considers the causes, scale, nature and consequences of short and long term developments, their impact on British society and how they were related to the key features and characteristics of the periods during which they took place. Although the focus of this study is the development of medicine and public health in Britain, it will draw on wider world developments that impacted on the core themes. Students will have the opportunity to see how some ideas and events in the wider world affected Britain and will promote the idea that key themes did not develop in isolation, but these ideas and events should be referenced in terms of their effects on the core theme for Britain and British people.

Students will study the importance of the following factors:
  • war
  • superstition and religion
  • chance
  • government
  • communication
  • science and technology
  • the role of the individual in encouraging or inhibiting change.

Students will show an understanding of how factors worked together to bring about particular developments at a particular time, how they were related and their impact upon society.

Students will develop an understanding of the varying rate of change, why change happened when it did, whether change brought progress, and the significance of the change(s). They should also be able to distinguish between different types of causes and consequences, such as short/long-term causes, intended/unintended consequences.

This option focuses on the following questions:

  • Why has there been progress in the health of the British people?
  • How and why has the pace and scale of medical development varied at different times?
  • What impact has medical progress had on people and society?
  • How and why have different factors been more important than others for individual medical developments?
  • What is the significance of key individuals or events in the history of medical development?

Part one: Medicine stands still

  • Medieval medicine: approaches including natural, supernatural, ideas of Hippocratic and Galenic methods and treatments; the medieval doctor; training, beliefs about cause of illness.
  • Medical progress: the contribution of Christianity to medical progress and treatment; hospitals; the nature and importance of Islamic medicine and surgery; surgery in medieval times, ideas and techniques.
  • Public health in the Middle Ages: towns and monasteries; the Black Death in Britain, beliefs about its causes, treatment and prevention.

Part two: The beginnings of change

  • The impact of the Renaissance on Britain: challenge to medical authority in anatomy, physiology and surgery; the work of Vesalius, Paré, William Harvey; opposition to change.
  • Dealing with disease: traditional and new methods of treatments; quackery; methods of treating disease; plague; the growth of hospitals; changes to the training and status of surgeons and physicians; the work of John Hunter.
  • Prevention of disease: inoculation; Edward Jenner, vaccination and opposition to change.

Part three: A revolution in medicine

  • The development of Germ Theory and its impact on the treatment of disease in Britain: the importance of Pasteur, Robert Koch and microbe hunting; Pasteur and vaccination; Paul Ehrlich and magic bullets; everyday medical treatments and remedies.
  • A revolution in surgery: anaesthetics, including Simpson and chloroform; antiseptics, including Lister and carbolic acid; surgical procedures; aseptic surgery.
  • Improvements in public health: public health problems in industrial Britain; cholera epidemics; the role of public health reformers; local and national government involvement in public health improvement, including the 1848 and 1875 Public Health Acts.

Part four: Modern medicine

  • Modern treatment of disease: the development of the pharmaceutical industry; penicillin, its discovery by Fleming, its development; new diseases and treatments, antibiotic resistance; alternative treatments.
  • The impact of war and technology on surgery: plastic surgery; blood transfusions; X-rays; transplant surgery; modern surgical methods, including lasers, radiation therapy and keyhole surgery.
  • Modern public health: the importance of Booth, Rowntree, and the Boer War; the Liberal social reforms; the impact of two world wars on public health, poverty and housing; the Beveridge Report and the Welfare State; creation and development of the National Health Service; costs, choices and the issues of healthcare in the 21st century.

2B Britain: Power and the people: c1170 to the present day

This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of the development of the relationship between the citizen and the state in Britain over a long period of time. It considers the causes, scale, nature and consequences of protest to that relationship. By charting the journey from feudalism and serfdom to democracy and equality, it reveals how, in different periods, the state responds to challenges to its authority and their impact. It allows students to construct an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of the citizen.

Students will have the opportunity to see how ideas, events or developments in the wider world affected the course of Britain's political development and will promote the idea that ideas of authority, challenge and rights did not develop in isolation, but these developments should be seen in terms of how they affected Britain and British people.

Students will study the importance of the following factors:
  • war
  • religion
  • chance
  • government
  • communication
  • the economy
  • ideas such as equality, democracy, representation
  • the role of the individual in encouraging or inhibiting change.

Students will study how factors worked together to bring about particular developments at a particular time and their impact upon society.

Students will develop an understanding of the varying rate of change, why change happened when it did, whether change brought progress, and the significance of the change(s). They should also be able to distinguish between different types of causes and consequences, eg short/long-term causes, intended/unintended consequences.

This option focuses on the following questions:

  • Why have people’s rights and their relationship with the state changed?
  • How have people challenged authority and how have governments responded to those challenges?
  • How has Parliament and parliamentary democracy evolved?
  • What impact have changes in political status had on people's lives?
  • What is the significance of key individuals and events in the changing relationship between the individual and the state?

Part one: Challenging authority and feudalism

  • Constraints on kingship: the barons’ dissatisfaction with King John’s rule and its resolution; Magna Carta, its terms and its short and long-term impact.
  • The origins of parliament: issues between King Henry III and his barons; the role of Simon de Montfort; the Provisions of Oxford and the Parliament of 1265 and their short and long-term impact.
  • Medieval revolt and royal authority: the social, economic and political causes of the Peasants Revolt; actions by rebels and government; impact of the Peasants' Revolt.

Part two: Challenging royal authority

  • Popular uprisings against the Crown: the social, economic, religious and political causes of the Pilgrimage of Grace; the implications for royal authority; Henry VIII and his government’s reaction and the impact of the uprising.
  • Divine Right and parliamentary authority: the causes of the English Revolution; the New Model Army and the development of political radicalism during the Civil War era; the short and long-term impact of the English Revolution, including the significance of trial and execution of Charles I and Oliver Cromwell and the Commonwealth.
  • Royal authority and the right to representation: the causes of the American Revolution including the relationship between the government and people; impact and significance of the American Revolution.

Part three: Reform and reformers

  • The extension of the franchise: radical protest; the Great Reform Act, causes and impact, including further reform; Chartism, causes, actions and impact.
  • Protest and change: campaigning groups and their methods and impact, including the Anti-Slavery movement; the Anti-Corn Law League; factory reformers; social reformers.
  • Workers movements: the development of trade unionism and its impact, including Grand National Consolidation Trades Union (GNCTU), Tolpuddle Martyrs, New Model Unions and new unionism, including the match girls' and dockers' strikes.

Part four: Equality and rights

  • Women’s rights: the campaign for women’s suffrage, reasons, methods and responses; role of individuals, including the Pankhursts; the reasons for the extension of the franchise and its impact; progress towards equality in the second half of the 20th century.
  • Workers’ rights: the General Strike (1926), actions, reactions and impact; trade union reform in the late 20th century.
  • Minority rights: the development of multi-racial society since the Second World War; discrimination, protest and reform; the Brixton Riots, their impact, including the Scarman Report.

2C Britain: Migration, empires and the people: c790 to the present day

This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of how the identity of the people of Britain has been shaped by their interaction with the wider world. It will consider invasions and conquests. It will also study the country's relationship with Europe and the wider world. It will consider the ebb and flow of peoples into and out of Britain and evaluate their motives and achievements. It considers the causes, impact and legacy of Empire upon the ruled and the ruling in the context of Britain’s acquisition and retreat from Empire.

Students will study the importance of the following factors as they influenced Britain’s dealings with the wider world:
  • war
  • religion
  • government
  • economic resources
  • science and technology
  • ideas such as imperialism, social Darwinism and civilisation
  • the role of individuals.

Students will develop an understanding of the varying rate of change, why change happened when it did, whether change brought progress, and the significance of the change(s). They should also be able to distinguish between different types of causes and consequences, such as short/long-term causes, intended/unintended consequences.

Students will study how factors worked together to bring about particular developments at a particular time and their impact upon society.

This option focuses on the following questions:

  • How has Britain been affected by conquest, settlement, and migration?
  • What has motivated migration to and from Britain?
  • Why did Britain gain and lose an empire and with what effects?
  • How have the people of Britain and the wider world responded to, and been influenced by, interaction?
  • What is the significance of key individuals and events in the development of empire and British identity?

Part one: Conquered and conquerors

  • Invasion: Vikings and Anglo-Saxons; reasons for Viking invasions; creation of the Danelaw; Alfred and Wessex; King Cnut, Emma of Normandy and the North Sea Empire.
  • A Norman Kingdom and ‘Angevin’ Empire: relationship between England and France; Henry II; invasion of Ireland; losses under King John.
  • The birth of English identity: the Hundred Years’ War and its impact for England’s future development.

Part two: Looking west

  • Sugar and the Caribbean: piracy and plunder; the development of the slave trade, including John Hawkins; settlements in Barbados and West Indies; the economic and social impact of the slave trade on Britain.
  • Colonisation in North America: causes and consequences of British colonisation; Raleigh; Jamestown; contact and relations with indigenous peoples; commodities; Pilgrim Fathers; indentured servants; the War of Independence, loss of American colonies.
  • Migrants to and from Britain: Huguenot migration; Highland clearances; the Ulster plantations.

Part three: Expansion and empire

  • Expansion in India: causes and impact of British control; East India Company; Robert Clive; Warren Hastings; Indian Rebellion (1857); the social, political, cultural and economic impact of empire on Britain and India.
  • Expansion in Africa: causes and impact of British involvement; trade and missionary activity; South Africa; Egypt; the Scramble for Africa; Cecil Rhodes; the Boer War (1899–1902); imperial propaganda.
  • Migrants to, from and within Britain: Irish migration to Britain; Jewish migration to Britain; transportation; migration to and within the Empire, including migration of Asians to Africa; migration from rural to urban settings.

Part four: Britain in the 20th century

  • The end of Empire: the impact of the First and Second World Wars; the impact of Suez; nationalism and independence in India and Africa, including the role of Gandhi, Nkrumrah and Kenyatta.
  • The legacy of Empire: ‘Windrush’ and the Caribbean migrants; the work of Claudia Jones in the UK; migration from Asia and Africa, including the role of Amin in Uganda; the Commonwealth; the Falklands War.
  • Britain’s relationship with Europe and its impact: the impact of the Second World War; economic, social and cultural interaction; the end of the Cold War and membership of European Union; European and non-European migration.

3.3.2 Section B: British depth studies

Norman England, c1066–c1100

This option allows students to study in depth the arrival of the Normans and the establishment of their rule. The depth study will focus on major aspects of Norman rule, considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints of this period and arising contemporary and historical controversies.

Part one: The Normans: conquest and control

  • Causes of Norman Conquest, including the death of Edward the Confessor, the claimants and claims.
  • Military aspects: Battle of Stamford Bridge; Battle of Hastings; Anglo-Saxon and Norman tactics; military innovations, including cavalry and castles.
  • Establishing and maintaining control: the Harrying of the North; revolts, 1067–1075; King William’s leadership and government; William II and his inheritance.

Part two: Life under the Normans

  • Feudalism and government: roles, rights, and responsibilities; landholding and lordship; land distribution; patronage; Anglo-Saxon and Norman government systems; the Anglo-Saxon and Norman aristocracies and societies; military service; justice and the legal system such as ordeals, ‘murdrum’; inheritance; the Domesday Book.
  • Economic and social changes and their consequences: Anglo-Saxon and Norman life, including towns, villages, it's buildings, work, food, roles and seasonal life; Forest law.

Part three: The Norman Church and monasticism

  • The Church: the Anglo-Saxon Church before 1066; Archbishop Lanfranc and reform of the English Church, including the building of churches and cathedrals; Church organisation and courts; Church-state relations; William II and the Church; the wealth of the Church; relations with the Papacy; the Investiture Controversy.
  • Monasticism: the Norman reforms, including the building of abbeys and monasteries; monastic life; learning; schools and education; Latin usage and the vernacular.

Part four: The historic environment of Norman England

The historic environment is 10% of the overall course.

Students will be examined on a specific site in depth. This site will be as specified and will be changed annually. The site will relate to the content of the rest of this depth study. It is intended that study of different historic environments will enrich students’ understanding of Norman England.

There is no requirement to visit the specified site. Teachers may wish to visit a similar site in their locality to inform their teaching, however no reward will be given in the assessment for visiting the specified site or any other site.

The study of the historic environment will focus on a particular site in its historical context and should examine the relationship between a specific place and associated historical events and developments.

Students will be expected to answer a question that draws on second order concepts of change, continuity, causation and/or consequence, and to explore them in the context of the specified site and wider events and developments of the period studied.

Students should be able to identify key features of the specified site and understand their connection to the wider historical context of the specific historical period. Sites will also illuminate how people lived at that time, how they were governed and their beliefs and values.

The following aspects of the site should be considered:

  • location
  • function
  • the structure
  • people connected with the site eg the designer, originator and occupants
  • design
  • how the design reflects the culture, values, fashions of the people at the time
  • how important events/developments from the depth study are connected to the site.

Students will be expected to understand the ways in which key features and other aspects of the site are representative of the period studied. In order to do this, students will also need to be aware of how the key features and other aspects of the site have changed from earlier periods.

Students will also be expected to understand how key features and other aspects may have changed or stayed the same during the period.

The numbers in the brackets below further relate to other parts of the depth study for which the historic environment is relevant.

The historic environment can be explored through the examination of Norman buildings such as the cathedrals (Part three), abbeys (Part three), castles (Part one) and wider historic environments such as towns and settlements (Part two). Equally, key historical developments and events such as trade (Part three), revolts, and battles (Part one) were shaped by the historic environment in which they took place.

For all series the specified site will be published three years in advance at aqa.org.uk/history

Optional resource packs will accompany each site, which teachers may wish to use to form part of their teaching of the course.Other sources of information about the specified site may also be considered.

Medieval England - the reign of Edward I, 1272–1307

This option allows students to study in depth Medieval England and the reign of Edward I. The depth study will focus on the major events of the reign of Edward considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoint, and arising contemporary and historical controversies.

Part one: Government, the rights of King and people

  • Henry III’s legacy: the relationship between Edward and his father, Henry III; the problems faced on Edward I’s accession; relations with the nobility; Edward I’s character as a king.
  • Development of government, rights and justice: the Hundred Rolls; Robert Burnell; Statutes of Westminster; Statutes of Mortmain; ‘Quo Warranto’ Inquiries; parliaments; ‘The Model Parliament’ (1295).

Part two: Life in Medieval England

  • Trade, towns and villages: agriculture and the wool trade; royal finance and taxation; wool tax; Statute of Merchants; Italian bankers; re-coinage; expulsion of the Jews in 1290.
  • Education and learning: the medieval Church, universities, Roger Bacon, Duns Scotus.
  • The development of the legal system: laws; courts; trials; crimes; criminals and punishments; Statutes of Gloucester 1278 and Winchester 1285.

Part three: Edward I’s military campaigns in Wales and Scotland

  • Medieval warfare, tactics and technology: siege warfare, battlefield use of cavalry, infantry, weapons and armour.
  • The invasion and colonisation of Wales: Edward’s Welsh Wars in 1277 and 1282–1283; Statute of Rhuddlan; castle building; costs and consequences.
  • The relations with Scotland: ‘the Great Cause’; issue of Scottish succession, Balliol and Bruce; Scottish campaigns; William Wallace and the First War of Scottish Independence from 1297 to the death of Edward I; the reputation of Edward I as ‘Hammer of the Scots’.

Part four: The historic environment of Medieval England

The historic environment is 10% of the overall course.

Students will be examined on a specific site in depth. This site will be as specified and will be changed annually. The site will relate to the content of the rest of this depth study. It is intended that study of different historic environments will enrich students’ understanding of Medieval England during the reign of Edward I.

There is no requirement to visit the specified site. Teachers may wish to visit a similar site in their locality to inform their teaching, however no reward will be given in the assessment for visiting the specified site or any other site.

The study of the historic environment will focus on a particular site in its historical context and should examine the relationship between a specific place and associated historic events and developments.

Students will be expected to answer a question that draws on second order concepts of change, continuity, causation and/or consequence, and to explore them in the context of the specified site and wider events and developments of the period studied.

Students should be able to identify key features of the specified site and understand their connection to the wider historical context of the specific historical period. Sites will also illuminate how people lived at the time, how they were governed and their beliefs and values.

The following aspects of the site should be considered:

  • location
  • function
  • the structure
  • people connected with the site eg the designer, originator and occupants
  • design
  • how the design reflects the culture, values, fashions of the people at the time
  • how important events/developments from the depth study are connected to the site.

Students will be expected to understand the ways in which key features and other aspects of the site are representative of the period studied. In order to do this, students will also need to be aware of how the key features and other aspects of the site have changed from earlier periods.

Students will also be expected to understand how key features and other aspects may have changed or stayed the same during the period.

The numbers in the brackets below further relate to other parts of the depth study for which the historic environment is relevant.

The historic environment can be explored through the examination of medieval buildings such as churches (Part two), fortified manor houses and castles (Part three) and wider historic environments such as towns and villages (Part two). Equally, key historic developments and events such as trade (Part two), revolts, battles, and wars (Part three) were shaped by the historic environment in which they took place.

For all series the specified site will be published three years in advance at aqa.org.uk/history

Optional resource packs will accompany each site, which teachers may wish to use to form part of their teaching of the course. Other sources of information about the specified site may also be considered.

Elizabethan England, c1568–1603

This option allows students to study in depth a specified period, the last 35 years of Elizabeth I's reign. The study will focus on major events of Elizabeth I’s reign considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints, and arising contemporary and historical controversies.

Part one: Elizabeth's court and Parliament

  • Elizabeth I and her court: background and character of Elizabeth I; court life, including patronage; key ministers.
  • The difficulties of a female ruler: relations with Parliament; the problem of marriage and the succession; the strength of Elizabeth’s authority at the end of her reign, including Essex’s rebellion in 1601.

Part two: Life in Elizabethan times

  • A ‘Golden Age’: living standards and fashions; growing prosperity and the rise of the gentry; the Elizabethan theatre and its achievements; attitudes to the theatre.
  • The poor: reasons for the increase in poverty; attitudes and responses to poverty; the reasons for government action and the seriousness of the problem.
  • English sailors: Hawkins and Drake; circumnavigation 1577–1580, voyages and trade; the role of Raleigh.

Part three: Troubles at home and abroad

  • Religious matters: the question of religion, English Catholicism and Protestantism; the Northern Rebellion; Elizabeth's excommunication; the missionaries; Catholic plots and the threat to the Elizabethan settlement; the nature and ideas of the Puritans and Puritanism; Elizabeth and her government's responses and policies towards religious matters.
  • Mary Queen of Scots: background; Elizabeth and Parliament’s treatment of Mary; the challenge posed by Mary; plots; execution and its impact.
  • Conflict with Spain: reasons; events; naval warfare, including tactics and technology; the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

Part four: The historic environment of Elizabethan England

The historic environment is 10% of the overall course.

Students will be examined on a specific site in depth. This site will be as specified and will be changed annually. The site will relate to the content of the rest of this depth study. It is intended that study of different historic environments will enrich students’ understanding of Elizabethan England.

There is no requirement to visit the specified site. Teachers may wish to visit a similar site in their locality to inform their teaching, however no reward will be given in the assessment for visiting the specified site or any other site.

The study of the historic environment will focus on a particular site in its historical context and should examine the relationship between a specific place and associated historical events and developments.

Students will be expected to answer a question that draws on second order concepts of change, continuity, causation and/or consequence, and to explore them in the context of the specified site and wider events and developments of the period studied.

Students should be able to identify key features of the specified site and understand their connection to the wider historical context of the specific historical period. Sites will also illuminate how people lived at the time, how they were governed and their beliefs and values.

The following aspects of the site should be considered:

  • location
  • function
  • the structure
  • people connected with the site eg the designer, originator and occupants
  • design
  • how the design reflects the culture, values, fashions of the people at the time
  • how important events/developments from the depth study are connected to the site.

Students will be expected to understand the ways in which key features and other aspects of the site are representative of the period studied. In order to do this, students will also need to be aware of how the key features and other aspects of the site have changed from earlier periods.

Students will also be expected to understand how key features and other aspects may have changed or stayed the same during the period.

The numbers in the brackets below further relate to other parts of the depth study for which the historic environment is relevant.

The historic environment can be explored through the examination of Elizabethan buildings such as Tudor manor houses and their gardens (Part two), theatres (Part two) and wider historic environments such as villages, towns and cities (Part two). Equally key historic developments and events such as voyages and trade (Part two), revolts (Parts one and three), and battles (Part three) were shaped by the historic environment in which they took place.

For all series the specified site will be published three years in advance at aqa.org.uk/history

Optional resource packs will accompany each site, which teachers may wish to use to form part of their teaching of the course.Other sources of information about the specified sites may also be considered.

Restoration England, 1660–1685

This option allows students to study in depth the restoration of the monarchy. The study will focus on the major aspects of Charles II’s reign considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints of this period and arising contemporary and historical controversies.

Part one: Crown, Parliament, plots and court life

  • Crown and Parliament: the legacy of the English Civil War and Commonwealth; the restoration of the monarchy; the succession issue; relations and issues with Parliament, finance and religion; the Cabal and ‘Party politics’; rule without parliament from 1681.
  • The Catholic question: plots, including Titus Oates and the Popish Plot and the Rye House Plot; the Exclusion Bill, 1679; James, Duke of York.
  • Charles II’s court: Charles II’s character; court life, fashions and the role of the court.

Part two: Life in Restoration England

  • Crisis: Great Plague of 1665; causes and contemporary views; measures to combat; records; results; Fire of London of 1666; causes and contemporary views; results and reconstruction.
  • Restoration culture: Restoration comedy, theatres and playwrights; the role and status of women; coffee houses; Charles II’s patronage of the arts and sciences, including the Royal Society; Samuel Pepys; architecture and design, including Christopher Wren.

Part three: Land, trade and war

  • Land: the powers of the East India Company; Bombay; Hudson Bay; Tangier; Captain Henry Morgan and Jamaica.
  • Trade: mercantilism; the Navigation Acts and their impact; slave trade.
  • War: English sea power; naval warfare, including tactics and technology; conflict with the Dutch, including the Second and Third Dutch Wars; relations with Spain and France.

Part four: The historic environment of Restoration England

The historic environment is 10% of the overall course.

Students will be examined on a specific site in depth. This site will be as specified and will be changed annually. The site will relate to the content of the rest of this depth study. It is intended that study of different historic environments will enrich students’ understanding of Restoration England.

There is no requirement to visit the specified site. Teachers may wish to visit a similar site in their locality to inform their teaching, however no reward will be given in the assessment for visiting the specified site or any other site.

The study of the historic environment will focus on a particular site in its historical context and should examine the relationship between a specific place and associated historical events and developments.

Students will be expected to answer a question that draws on second order concepts of change, continuity, causation and/or consequence, and to explore them in the context of the specified site and wider events and developments of the period studied.

Students should be able to identify key features of the specified site and understand their connection to the wider historical context of the specific historical period. Sites will also illuminate how people lived at the time, how they were governed and their beliefs and values.

The following aspects of the site should be considered:

  • location
  • function
  • the structure
  • people connected with the site eg the designer, originator and occupants
  • design
  • how the design reflects the culture, values, fashions of the people at the time
  • how important events/developments from the depth study are connected to the site.

Students will be expected to understand the ways in which key features and other aspects of the site are representative of the period studied. In order to do this, students will also need to be aware of how the key features and other aspects of the site have changed from earlier periods.

Students will also be expected to understand how key features and other aspects may have changed or stayed the same during the period.

The numbers in the brackets below further relate to other parts of the depth study for which the historic environment is relevant.

The historic environment can be explored through the examination of restoration buildings such as stately homes and gardens (Parts one and two), theatres (Part two) and wider historic environments such as villages, towns and cities (Part two). Equally key historical developments and events such as trade (Part three), plots, revolts and battles (Parts one and three) were shaped by the historic environment in which they took place.

For all series the specified site will be published three years in advance at aqa.org.uk/history

Optional resource packs will accompany each site, which teachers may wish to use to form part of their teaching of the course. Other sources of information about the specified site may also be considered.