• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Barbara Nelson
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

This course surveys the history of South Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, from the earliest periods of Indian history to 1857. The purpose of this course is three-fold:

– to provide the necessary background knowledge to understand the later processes of colonisation and state formation in South Asia;

– to survey the historical foundations and development of religious traditions of South Asia in order to appreciate the place of those religions in South Asia today;

– to introduce changing conceptions of the past of South Asia and the major scholarly debates on issues in pre-colonial South Asian history today.

The course begins with the physical environment of South Asia, then goes on to examine Indus culture and developments associated with the Hindu tradition, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, the arrival of Islam, the establishment of the Mughal empire, the arrival of the European powers (Portuguese, Dutch and English) and how a trading company took control of large parts of the subcontinent. As well as tracing the major historical and political events, the course will also explore the social and cultural developments that accompanied and contributed to the development of South Asia.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course students should have the skills and knowledge to:
1. Critically evaluate accounts of South Asian history up until 1757 

2. Explain developments in South Asian society and culture up to 1757 with an understanding of theoretical approaches to South Asian historical evidence
3. Formulate a research problem and select appropriate sources to address that problem
4. Communicate research results in research paper that applies theoretical knowledge in the area.
5. Demonstrate application of knowledge by preparing and presenting on a selected topic, choosing readings and leading a class discussion on the topic.

Indicative Assessment

Item A Weekly critical analysis of readings for that week 20%

Item B Present on a selected topic, lead discussion, and submit a reflective statement on the presentation 30%

Item C Research plan with annotated bibliography (2000 words) 15%

Item D Research paper (5000 words) 35%


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.


The workload will be

2 X 1 hour lectures

1 X 1 hour tutorial (except for weeks 1 and 13)

7 hours independent study


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 $1218
2014 $2808
2013 $2808
2012 $2808
2011 $2778
2010 $2718
2009 $2670
2008 $2592
2007 $2298
2006 $2190
2005 $2190
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $3402
2014 $3942
2013 $3942
2012 $3942
2011 $3942
2010 $3942
2009 $3816
2008 $3816
2007 $3816
2006 $3816
2005 $3816
2004 $3816
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.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4616 17 Feb 2014 07 Mar 2014 31 Mar 2014 30 May 2014 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions