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Course Description – an example of one of the specific areas which can be covered.

Medicine through Time

An outline guide to the teaching and assessing of the Study in Development required for completion of the NEAB GCSE History syllabus A. Students who opt for this exciting subject will have the opportunity to:

1. Gain an overview of the main changes and trends in medicine from earliest times to the present.  The content, defined through the key features of the areas studied over time, will be approached from the following perspectives:

a. Key issues people and developments.

b. Key features and characteristics of the periods studied

c. Key concepts

2. Learners should be able to relate relevant people, ideas and development, as detailed in the list of content to the key issues in the development of medicine over time.

a. Be able to show an understanding of the cause and cure of illness.

b. Learners will recognise developments in anatomy and surgery.

c. Show continuity and change in preventative medicine.

d. Understand and explain the development of the medical profession.


This course also offers a broad spectrum of skills enabling learners to develop the personal attributes they need in order to develop confidence in their ability to work, learn and achieve their full potential at GCSE Level.

At a glance

The learners will investigate causes and cures of illness, from the supernatural to the natural to the scientific.  They will look at the work of individuals including Rhazes, Hippocrates, Louis Pasteur, Robert Koch, Paul Ehrlich, Alexander Fleming.

They will gain knowledge of anatomy and surgical techniques from prehistoric to modern times. The work of individuals including Claudius Galen, Andreas Vesalius,  Ambroise Pare, William Harvey, Sir James Simpson, Joseph Lister, Sir Archbald MacIndoe, Christian Barnard.

Learn about preventative measures, from individual and group hygiene to national and international public health initiatives.  Study the work of individuals including Edward Jenner, Edwin Chadwick, Jonas Salk


The primary aim of the on-going assessment of the AQA GCSE History course is to allow the learner to demonstrate achievement.  Units are defined in terms of learning outcomes and are assessed using a criterion-referenced approach.

All units contribute to the qualification. This will help all learners to answer source based questions and be able to answer exam based questions showing their individual understanding and knowledge of the subject.

Previous learners’ 


“I found it really interesting learning about making holes in the head.”

“I thought learning about medicine was going to be boring, once I started learning about it I was surprised how good it was.”

It was interesting learning about the aborigines and finding out about how similar their customs and beliefs are to the prehistoric period.”

Future prospects

You could take this course to prepare for advanced level courses such as A/AS level in History and then onto studying at an University for a BA Hons Degree .


If you are interested in History there are a range of job opportunities including:

  • Museum Researcher
  • Archaeologist
  • Media Researcher