SOAS University of London

SOAS partners with OCR Exam board to boost teaching resources on implications of British colonial rul​e

26 June 2018

The Department of History at SOAS University of London has partnered with OCR, a leading examinations board for secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, to create a ‘one-stop’ shop for A-level history teachers teaching the British Empire.

Coordinated by Dr Yi Li, the Department of History has pooled the expertise and knowledge of SOAS academic colleagues to provide a repository of research and teaching materials which looks at the implications of British colonial rule across its empire.

Since January 2018, SOAS have been developing a free, online portal for teachers interested in the OCR A-level history course, From Colonialism to Independence: The British Empire 1857 – 1965. 

The portal focusses on four key topics which takes a rounded approach on the governance of the Empire; Opposition to British rule; Impact of imperial power; and its legacy on international relations. 

The course was release by OCR in 2015 as part of its efforts to include more world history in the secondary school curriculum.

Colonial era building in Kerala

Colonial era building in Kerala: SOAS digital library PP MS 19/6/MALA/0037. Photograph: Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf. © Nicholas Haimendorf

Dr Li said: “Since these modules were released, teachers have felt that there were not enough tailored resources to sufficiently enable them to create lesson plans. OCR History team and our department therefore decided to develop this portal together to fill in the gap.”

The SOAS History Resources portal will be updated with relevant debates and recent academic developments – all with links to publicly accessible academic sources.” 

The SOAS History Resources portal showcases the unique and world-class knowledge that SOAS can provide outside of higher education. Not only does SOAS History department hope to increase A -level take up of the OCR module, but it also hopes that this portal will enable future historians to better understand Britain’s position in not only a historical, but global context.

Teachers are actively encouraged to contact Dr Yi Li on for enquiries or questions about the teaching material available or further partnering opportunities.