Changes in Health and Medicine in Britain, c.500 to the present day Eduqas GCSE History Lesson Resources

Teach any Eduqas module 2F: Changes in Health and Medicine in Britain, c.500 to the present day, no prep needed!

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Eduqas GCSE History Component 2: Thematic Studies

Written examinations: 2 hours (comprising two papers of 1-hour duration each)

50% of qualification 100 marks (plus 6 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar and use of specialist terms)

In Component 2: Studies in Breadth, learners study one Period Study and one Thematic Study, from eight options in total. This component focuses study on substantial and coherent medium and long timescales. Studies in Breadth will provide learners with the opportunity to study history over longer timescales and consequently understand the changing nature of developments and issues associated with particular periods and geographical contexts. Studies in Breadth will also allow learners to understand change and continuity and similarity and difference across long sweeps of history, as well as the most significant characteristics of different ages. Studies in Breadth will focus study on different historical eras and different geographical contexts. This component encourages learners to develop an understanding of second-order historical concepts in particular, including continuity, change, cause, consequence, significance and similarity and difference.

Component 2: Studies in Breadth

Sub-section: Thematic Studies

Module: 2E Changes in Health and Medicine, c.500 to the present day

This option focuses thematically on the main trends in the history of health and medicine in Britain from c.500 to the present day. Candidates will be required to consider the causes, treatment and prevention of illness and disease, advances in medical knowledge, developments in patient care and advances in public health and welfare over time. Candidates will also be required to examine the major political, social, economic and cultural perspectives which have contributed to the development of health and medicine from c.500 to the present day. In this option, centres should ensure that they focus, where appropriate, on the issues of change, continuity, significance and turning points. As part of this option, candidates will investigate a historic site connected with this theme. The required content in italics shows which key features and characteristics of the period must be studied.

Key Questions and Required Content

  • Causes of illness and disease - What have been the causes of illness and disease over time?
    • Problems in the medieval era: poverty, famine, warfare: lack of hygiene in the medieval and early modern eras with reference to the Black Death of the fourteenth century and the Great Plague of the seventeenth century; the effects of industrialisation and the incidence of cholera and typhoid in the nineteenth century; the spread of bacterial and viral diseases in the twentieth century. 
  • Attempts to prevent illness and disease - How effective were attempts to prevent illness and disease over time?
    • Early methods of prevention of disease with reference to the Black Death: alchemy, soothsayers and medieval doctors; the application of science to the prevention of disease in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries: the work of Edward Jenner and vaccination; the influence and spread of inoculation since 1700; the discovery of antibodies and developments in the field of bacteriology. 
  • Attempts to treat and cure illness and disease - How have attempts to treat illness and disease changed over time?
    • Traditional treatments and remedies common in the medieval era: herbal medicines, barber-surgeons, use of leeches; Joseph Lister and the use of antiseptics in the later nineteenth century; James Simpson and the development of anaesthetics; twentieth-century developments: Marie Curie and the development of radiation; the roles of Fleming, Florey and Chain regarding antibiotics; Barnard and transplant surgery; modern advances in cancer treatment and surgery; alternative treatments. 
  • Advances in medical knowledge - How much progress has been made in medical knowledge over time?
    • Common medical ideas in the medieval era: the influence of alchemy, astrology and the theory of the four humours; the influence of the medical work of Vesalius, Pare and Harvey in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; nineteenth-century advances in medical knowledge: improved knowledge of the germ theory: Pasteur and Koch; the development of scanning techniques in the twentieth century: X-rays, ultrasound and MRI scans; the discovery of DNA and genetic research in the later twentieth century. 
  • Developments in patient care - How has the care of patients improved over time? 
    • The role of the church and monasteries from medieval times up to the mid-sixteenth century; the roles of voluntary charities in patient care after the mid-sixteenth century;  science and the development of endowed hospitals in the late eighteenth century; Florence Nightingale and the professionalisation of nursing in the nineteenth century; the impact of the early 20th century Liberal reforms; the Beveridge Report of 1944 and provision under the NHS after 1948 
  • Developments in public health and welfare - How effective were attempts to improve public health and welfare over time? 
    • Public health and hygiene in medieval society;  public health and hygiene in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; the impact of industrialisation on public health in the nineteenth century; the work of Edwin Chadwick leading to Victorian improvements in public health; efforts to improve housing and pollution in the twentieth century; local and national government attempts to improve public health and welfare in the twenty-first century: campaigns, fitness drives, healthy eating.

Historic Environment

  • The historical context relating to the site
  • The main features of treatment and care
  • The development of surgical methods and medical innovation

Resource Examples

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Historic Environment (2020 & 2021):

Historic Environment (2022 & 2023):