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Advanced Higher History Dissertation Questions

S6 Advanced Higher History

Course Overview

Pupils undertaking History at the Advanced Higher level will study ‘USA: A House Divided – 1850-1865’. This field of study focuses on the ante-bellum American society and tensions within it; the causes and nature of the American Civil War; the political, social and economic outcomes of the War, focusing on the themes of conflict, rights, identity and authority.

Over the year, students will investigate, in-depth, the following units:

  1. American Society in 1850
  2. Slavery in the antebellum period
  3. The problem of territorial expansion
  4. The 1860 Presidential Election, secession and the outbreak of War
  5. The Military Conflict
  6. The American Civil War at home and abroad
  7. Leadership during the Civil War
  8. The Emancipation Proclamation and its consequences
  9. The Presidential Election of 1864
  10. Reasons for Northern victory and Southern defeat

An integral component of the Advanced Higher History course is the completion of a 4000 word dissertation. In the autumn, students will select a dissertation title and will subsequently use faculty resources, as well as materials from the Edinburgh University library, to complete research on their chosen title. Throughout the year, students will plan and submit drafts which will be self and peer reviewed. They will submit their final draft – including an annotated bibliography and footnotes – by the end of April.


Students will continue to build on their existing source analysis and evaluation skills. They will be expected to respond, in detail, to increasingly complex sources – providing close readings of primary and secondary sources as well as in-depth recalled knowledge.

Throughout the year students will undertake extensive course reading and familiarise themselves with the views and varying interpretations of different pertinent historians. They will make regular use of historiographical knowledge, including using this information to build and support balanced arguments in their extended writing pieces (25 marks), source questions and dissertation.

Students will be responsible for completing a variety of group, paired and individual tasks including researching and presenting seminar papers to their peers.


In addition to successfully completing all Unit Outcomes, students will undergo a variety of formative and summative assessments throughout the year. These assessments include:

  • Dissertation proposals and drafts
  • Practice extended essays (25 marks)
  • Practice source questions (12-16 marks)
  • Prelim Examination

All coursework contributing to final grades is marked externally and is weighted as follows:

  • Dissertation (50/140 marks)
  • Final Exam (90/140 marks)

Recording & Reporting

All pupil assessments are routinely graded and recorded by the teacher and the results are stored centrally, these results are used by staff to track the progress of the individuals and ensure that their needs are being met. Pupils also review their own attainment and are encourage to identify ways to improve their learning. Staff report formally to parents as per the school calendar.

Тут что-то не так, - наконец сказала.  - Не думаю, что это ключ. Фонтейн глубоко вздохнул. Его темные глаза выжидающе смотрели на Сьюзан. - Мисс Флетчер, как вы полагаете, если это не ключ, то почему Танкадо обязательно хотел его отдать.