• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject History
  • Areas of interest History
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Alexander Cook
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

This course will help you to become a better historian and a better analyst of historical writing.  It examines the principles, strategies and assumptions underlying different forms of history.  It also introduces current debates about the discipline.  The course will consider key developments in historical thought and method, from the classical period to the present day.  It will invite you to consider the social functions of historical writing, as well as to critically assess the methods and models employed by different schools and traditions of historical thought.  

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1)    Comprehend and constructively debate key philosophical and methodological issues central to the study of history and important to other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

2)    Critically analyse the methods which have been employed by different historians and schools of historical thought in their efforts to understand and write about the past 

3)    Detect the underlying premises and assumptions embedded in specific pieces of historical writing and/or other forms of historical media

4)    Construct sustained arguments concerning the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to the study of the past

5)    Reflect on theoretical issues relevant to the practice of different forms of history and their implications for students’ own work

Indicative Assessment

1st Essay 1500 words (35%) [Learning Outcomes 1-4]

2nd Essay 3000 words (55%) [Learning Outcomes 1-5]

Oral and/or written contribution to class activities (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 5]

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.


One lecture (1.5 hours) and one tutorial (1 hour) per week for thirteen weeks.  Students are expected to commit up to 7.5 hours of independent study per week.  Lectures will be recorded.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of History (HIST) or Ancient History (ANCH) courses (which may include EURO1004), or with permission of convenor. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed HIST6110.

Preliminary Reading

Prescribed tutorial readings will be made available to students via Wattle. Students seeking to prepare via preliminary reading may like to consult texts such as:

J. Appleby, L. Hunt & M. Jacob, Telling the Truth about History (N.Y.: Norton, 1995)

J.Burrow, A History of Histories (London: Allen Lane, 2007)

A. Curthoys and J. Docker Is History Fiction? (Sydney: UNSW Press, 2005).




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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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
2016 $2718
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3876
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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
2055 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

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