One of Britain’s biggest exam boards said courses being taught from 2015 would focus on issues such as the development of the Middle East from the early 20th century to the Arab Spring.
For the first time, lessons will also cover the rise of Islam between 550 and 750AD, the rule of Genghis Khan, China and its rulers since 1839 and pre-colonial African kingdoms, it emerged.
The move, by the OCR exam board, follows the introduction of Coalition A-level reforms that require pupils to study a broader range of subjects over at least 200 years rather than 100 at the moment.
OCR claim that large numbers of topics – particularly the Tudors and the Second World War – are repeatedly covered throughout secondary education.
Traditionalists have criticised a shift away from British history, insisting that a grounding in Britain’s “island story” should remain the core focus of the subject at GCSE and A-level.
But Prof Peter Mandler, president of the Royal Historical Society, said it was important to “broaden the curriculum”.