• 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

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. 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
2017 $2856
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4080
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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