L3 History - Semester B

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Mr I. Cribbens

L3 History - Terrorism or Freedom Fighting?  Defence or Domination? - Semester B

This course will look deeply into the modern history of the Middle East and analyse the extent to which a combination of Islamist extremism and US Foreign Policy created the conditions for the 9/11 Terror Attacks. In analysing the event, students will be forced to challenge their understanding of terrorism and reflect on what makes the use of violence legitimate, in what circumstances and why. 

In particular, students will examine the following topics:

  • Terrorism or Freedom Fighting?: Using the 9/11 Attacks as the central event, students will analyse the rise of Islamic Extremism in the Middle East, the controversial nature of US involvement in the Middle East, and how such factors contributed to the 9/11 Attacks.  Students will also consider the immediate and long-term consequences of the attacks, including the Invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the rise and fall of ISIS, Islamophobia (including the recent Christchurch Mosque shootings) and the derogation of human rights.  This will be an externally assessed standard worth 6 credits.
  • Defence, Freedom, Revenge, or Oil?  Students will analyse the US-led 2003 Invasion of  Iraq which resulted in the deaths of up to 500,000 Iraqi’s and led to the creation of ISIS.  Students will consider the underlying motivations for the Invasion.  Using primary and secondary evidence, the students will be forced to decide what the invasion was for; to defend America from terrorism, to overthrow a brutal tyrant, or to spread US dominance and control into the Middle East?  This will be an internally assessed standard worth 5 credits.

This course will provoke students to think deeply and critically about the world around them and to analyse and critique the actions and perspectives of others. Students will act as historians, finding and analysing historical sources to reach their own judgements about what happened, why it happened and the significance of these events.

All Achievement Standards offered during this course provide Literacy Credits and students will, therefore, be able to gain 11 Literacy Credits (5 Reading and 6 Writing) in this course.  Level 3 is also a University Entrance approved subject.  The 6 credits obtained in the external examination are recognized as ‘writing credits’. 

Students who want to gain a subject endorsement will also need to take this subject in Semester A.  For this subject to count as a University Entrance approved subject, students will need to take the subject in both semesters to gain the required 14 credits.

Prior Learning & Prerequisites

Students should have completed 14 credits in History, English or Geography in Level 2.  It is recommended that students also complete Level 3 History, Semester 1.

Career Pathways

Credit Information

This course is eligible for subject endorsement, however, you will need to select both Semester A and B.

This course is approved for University Entrance however, you will need to select both Semester A and B.

Total Credits Available: 11 credits.
Externally Assessed Credits: 6 credits.
Internally Assessed Credits: 5 credits.

Internal or
L1 Literacy Credits
UE Literacy Credits
Numeracy Credits
A.S. 91437 v2
History 3.4 - Analyse different perspectives of a contested event of significance to New Zealanders
Level: 3
Internal or External: Internal
Credits: 5
Level 1 Literacy Credits: Y
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 5r *
Numeracy Credits: 0
A.S. 91438 v2
History 3.5 - Analyse the causes and consequences of a significant historical event
Level: 3
Internal or External: External
Credits: 6
Level 1 Literacy Credits: Y
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 6r,6w *
Numeracy Credits: 0
Credit Summary
Total Credits: 11
Total Level 1 Literacy Credits: 11
Total University Entrance Literacy Credits: 11
TotalNumeracy Credits: 0

Approved subject for University Entrance

Number of credits that can be used for overall endorsement: 11

At least 14 Achieved credits are required in an approved subject for the subject to count as an approved University Entrance subject. You will need to take both Semesters at Level 3 to earn 14 credits as each semester usually offers 8-10 credits.


Selection of a course does not guarantee entry into the course. Courses may not run due to low numbers and timetable clashes may occur. In both of these situations, the student will be consulted about alternative courses during the Course Confirmation process.

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