August 2009
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New diplomas for Humanities and Social Sciences 14-19

Writing about web pageThe Lines of Learning for the new Humanities and Social Sciences Diploma have now been published. They build upon detailed research and consultation with schools, FE, HE and employers.Comments from HE on the Humanties and Social Sciences diploma have been more positive than on many others but , as always the devil is in the detail which you can find on

Below is an excerpt from one of the principal learning topics at Higher Level 2


L 2.2 Learning lessons from the past (60 GLH)


Peoples and society are constantly changing and knowing the factors that have driven social change in the past provides us with valuable insights into factors driving or influencing change now. An informed perspective of social change is crucial to understanding different contexts and the decision making process. Leaders and decision makers for example, benefit from exploring past policies and their impact before implementing new policies.

Learners will examine historical examples of different kinds of change, for example sudden and gradual change. They will also look at factors that have driven change within society such as individual motivations, group dynamics, technological developments, religious or political beliefs, conflict and people movement through migration. They will explore the causes of change and the individuals or groups that initiate, implement or oppose them. Learners will examine how different changes are related and how changes usually have more than one cause.

Learners will be able to draw on lessons learnt from the past to anticipate reactions to social change now and in the future.

This topic links to 2.1, 2.3 and 2.4


Learners will develop a knowledge and understanding of:

1. chronological overviews and sense of historical period and influences, including how societies have changed or remained the same in the past, for example stability in ancient Egypt or the Roman Empire, changes in 19th-century Europe; 20th- century post-war society

2. some of the movements, people and events that have triggered and effected change in the past of Britain, Europe and elsewhere, for example the Renaissance, the Reformation, empires and colonialism, industrial revolution, Communism, Fascism, conflict, technology, human desires and needs, religion

3. how different events causing social change can be interconnected such as personal motivation and desires, technological change, tradition and economics, for example recession and trade union activity

4. how social developments often have many causes, some going back far into the past, for example the growth and decline of slavery or the role of women in society

5. the role of individuals in effecting social change, including religious leaders,

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