If you enjoy History, Geography and Religious Education but your timetable won’t allow you to study them all at GSCE, you may like to consider GCSE Humanities as an option which combines key elements of all three subjects. If your school offers it, it could be a good option for you.

What will I study in GCSE Humanities?

GCSE Humanities is a mixture of all of the humanities topics: History, Geography, Religious Education, Citizenship and Sociology. It will give you a broad grounding in all five subjects and allow you to explore all aspects of humanities, without having to take on a perhaps disproportionate number of full-course humanities GCSEs.

What’s in it for me and how will Humanities help my future studies?

  • You’ll find a great deal of variety in this course. Because this GCSE encompasses the essentials of five discrete subjects you are unlikely to get bored. However, you won’t simply study a history topic and then a week later a sociology topic. Each topic will include a mixture of at least two or three different humanities fields. For example, a module on Conflict and Co-operation would involve Citizenship, History and Religious Education. This will open your eyes to the ways the humanities subject overlap and will prevent the subject from becoming ‘samey’.
  • Humanities has enormous relevance to today’s society. Throughout this GCSE you will cover topics concerning many contemporary issues such as “euthanasia, animal rights, crime and punishment and life after death” (AQA website). So if you enjoy subjects with clear importance to life today you will definitely find this a rewarding GCSE.
  • The course is very flexible. You will have the opportunity to choose your own examples, case studies and issues to focus on. This will allow you to further your depth of knowledge on specific topics you’re particularly interested in and to develop an idea of which subjects you may want to pursue at a higher level.
  • Group work and independent learning. You will not only participate in group projects but you will also be allowed to work independently to develop your decision-making skills. Being able to work alone and cooperate with a group are both really important qualities!
  • The opportunity to participate in debates. This is a really exciting activity that will improve the way you articulate your ideas and help you to develop your own opinions concerning world issues. Even if you don’t feel confident enough to contribute very often, the process of listening to other people’s opinions will allow you to reflect on their viewpoints and develop your critical thinking skills.
  • You will gain a broad understanding of the world around you. Because the course covers historical topics, issues in today’s society and ethical questions, by the end of the two years you will understand a variety of concepts, issues and debates relevant to society and the world in general.

If this course sounds like it might be right for you, consider talking to a teacher or tutor about your options. Many students find GCSE Humanities an exciting, relevant and flexible course. Good luck for choosing your GCSE options!



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A vagabond traveler whose first love is the written word, I advocate for continuous learning, cycling, and the joy only a beloved pet can bring. There is plenty else I am passionate about, but those three should do it, for now.