• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Non Language Asian Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

Indian Epics is centered on the study of two epic narratives, the Ramayana and Mahabharata. These two master-texts have exerted unequalled influence throughout the greater Indic civilisational realm for two millennia, and continue to form and inform the Indian national consciousness today. The course engages with four disciplines: literature, anthropology, history, and cultural studies. It is specifically designed for flexible delivery using innovative approaches to information technology.

The course is divided into two halves. The first half deals with the Ramayana. The second half deals with the Mahabharata. Seven weekly activities support the course objectives: (1) Epic Reading, (2) Epic Reading Guide, (3) Theory Reading, (4) Story Retelling, (5) Read and Respond, (6) Famous Last Words, (7) Workshop. On average, these activities require students to spend 8 hours per week on them. Only one session, the Workshop (one hour), will be face-to-face. The other activities can be completed online.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Students will gain a three-fold understanding of epics.

1.  they will gain a high level empirical understanding of the basic themes, plots and characters of the two great Indian epics through weekly reading of epics texts.

2. they will gain deep theoretical understanding of epic literature and cultural practice as a genre.

3. they will achieve a high level of understanding of epic as a creative process by undertaking the production of epic narrative in a variety of genres and media.

Indicative Assessment

Cumulative weekly assessment requirements (12 weeks):

Creative writing task 16% (500 words per week) (LO 1,2,3)

Theoretical mind-mapping exercise 16% (LO 1,2,3)

Responsive writing  exercise ('Read and Respond') 16% (100 words each) (LO 1,2,3)

Learning Journal ('Famous Last Words') 16% (300 words per week) (LO 1,2,3)

Participation 8% (students need to be collegial, cooperative, and contributive members of a learning community to expect full marks) (LO 1,2,3)

Final creative project (28%) (LO 1,2,3)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


1 hour contact, 8-9 hours online

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed 36 units of courses. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ASIA2161.

Prescribed Texts

1. Ramayana by R. K. Narayan (Penguin) and
2. Mahabharata by R. K. Narayan (Penguin)




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1164
2014 $2478
2013 $2472
2012 $2472
2011 $2424
2010 $2358
2009 $2286
2008 $2286
2007 $2286
2006 $2190
2005 $2190
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2574
2014 $3246
2013 $3240
2012 $3240
2011 $3240
2010 $3240
2009 $3240
2008 $3240
2007 $3240
2006 $3240
2005 $3234
2004 $2916
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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