Subject Choice - History

Subject Choice - History



“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” - George Santayana

History is the study of the human past as it is described in the written documents left by human beings. Here are a collection of more history definitions (Kris Hirs)  The study of history enables us to understand

how past human action affects the present and influences our future, and it allows us to evaluate these effects. So, history is about learning how to think about the past, which affects the present, in a disciplined way.  Historians place a great emphasis on primary sources (writing based on events they or their immediate friends actually experienced), rather than secondary sources (writing merely based on hearsay).


History ensures that learners understand how and why people and societies behave the way they do, and how the forces that shaped the past have influenced the present, and will influence the future. The study of history also supports citizenship within a democracy.

  • French Revolution
  • American War of Independence
  • USA,1919 – 1939: “Boom and Bust”
  • Russia, 1917 – 1941
  • The Cold War: Europe, Vietnam and Middle East
  • China: Third Force in the Cold War
  • The Crises of the 1980s in South Africa
  • Collapse of the USSR
  • Civil Society and Civil Protest: USA and South Africa

Should I take this subject?

Employers often deliberately seek students with the skills that historical study promotes. The reasons are not hard to identify: students of history acquire, by studying different phases of the past and different societies in the past, a broad perspective that gives them the range and flexibility required in many work situations. They develop research skills, the ability to find and evaluate sources of information, and the means to identify and evaluate diverse interpretations. Work in history also improves basic writing and speaking skills and is directly relevant to many of the analytical requirements in the public and private sectors, where the capacities to identify, assess and explain trends is essential.


History is not a required subject for any field of study. However, if you find History interesting then you may find the following career fields of interest:



Social Sciences

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