Edexcel GCSE History (2016)

Here, you'll find everything you need to prepare for the changes to GCSE History from 2016, including our accredited Edexcel GCSE (9–1) History specification and sample assessment materials.

Supporting great history teaching

Read more

Our new Edexcel specification brings together elements of the current Modern World and Schools History Project courses, so GCSE students can explore a broader range of history than ever before.

With help from hundreds of teaching professionals and the history education community, we've created a qualification we know teachers want to teach and students want to study.

With our unique approach to the Historic Environment requirement, the sites we've chosen will stay the same throughout the lifetime of the course. That way, you can focus on teaching the history rather than planning and finding resources for a different site every year.

Our assessments encourage all students to show what they know and understand about history to the best of their ability. 

Our support takes many forms, all with the aim of helping you plan, teach, track and assess our new Edexcel GCSE (9–1) History with confidence. From free events and materials to paid-for published resources, much of this support is already available for you to get started with now.



Edexcel GCSE History (9-1) 2016 specification
Download PDF | 1.4 MB
Qualification type:
General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE)
Level 1/2
Accreditation status:
Specification codes:
UK and international
First teaching:
First assessment:
What's changing

What's changing

The changes summarised below will apply to all awarding bodies’ specifications: 

New specifications from all awarding bodies will have to include these elements:

  • a thematic study covering a long period that spans medieval, early modern and modern history

  • a period study covering at least 50 years

  • a British depth study and a non-British depth study from different eras (modern, early modern and medieval)

  • a study of the historic environment.

Students will also be required to study at least 40% British history.

A new grading structure is also being introduced, from grade 9 to 1, to replace the familiar A* to G grading scale. This change will apply to all reformed GCSEs.

There will be no controlled assessment or coursework, and all exams must be sat at the end of the course.

Mark Battye, our History subject advisor, talks about the changes to GCSE History from 2016.

Our approach

Our ambition is to develop qualifications that you'll know and recognise, but to update them with new and engaging topics of study.

Our GCSE and A level History specifications have been designed together to ensure there's sensible progression of content from GCSE to A level and similar approaches to assessment. This means that students taking both Edexcel GCSE and A level will have a coherent and diverse experience of history.

Read more in this article

Stay informed

For more information as we develop this qualification, sign up for emails or follow Mark Battye on Twitter to make sure you’re up to date with the latest news.

Sign up for emails

Follow Mark on Twitter

Changes to GCSE History

GCSE (9-1) History - Supporting great History teaching

{{ gatDoctitle }}



Free Getting Ready to Teach events – Book your place

We're holding free Getting Ready to Teach events to give teachers and heads of department the chance to find out more about our new GCSEs, and prepare for first teaching.

Book your free place



If you don’t have an Edexcel Online account, you can book by emailing us at trainingbookings@pearson.com

We'll give you the most up-to-date information available in our training events, and will make the latest presentation available for you to download.  

Launch events

Didn't go to one of our launch events? You can download and view the presentation.

{{ gatDoctitle }}


User tabs

Teaching support

Visit the history teacher community

Find more support on our history subject page

News and updates


See all news and updates
Your subject advisor
Mark Battye, History subject advisor
Mark BattyeHistory
UK: 020 7010 2186
Intl: +44 (0)20 7010 2186
What do you think?