• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject History
  • Areas of interest History, International Relations, Political Sciences, Asian Studies, European Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Ruth Morgan
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

The twentieth century forged a new world. Through revolution, mass destruction, economic development and technological transformation, a connected globe of deep divergences emerged. This course surveys the transformations that redefined the world from the age of empires to the era of globalisation. In a series of modules it examines the key political, economic, social, demographic and cultural dynamics that shaped the contemporary world, from war and revolution to health, work and consumption. Particular attention will be dedicated to ideological conflict, advances in communication and technology, environmental degradation and unprecedented population growth. We will also trace the experience of changes that upset and in some instances reinforced older patterns of insecurity and disadvantage. The course will use a diversity of evidence, from political manifestos to commercial advertisements, to explore attempts to reshape the world. Taking in all continents, and ranging from international systems to unique local patterns of work and leisure, this course provides a critical foundation from which to understand the ongoing legacies of the twentieth century world.  

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. understand major transitions, processes and developments in the history of the twentieth century;
  2. utilise case studies of important periods and themes to explore change and continuity in the twentieth century;
  3. critically reflect upon the range of documentary resources and historical interpretations considered in the course;
  4. demonstrate strong research, writing and analytical skills; and
  5. present, discuss and evaluate historical material in oral form.

Indicative Assessment

  1. 1,000 word museum report (15) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. 2,000 word research essay (35) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Final Examination 3 hours open book (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Tutorial Presentations, 5 minutes x 2 (10) [LO 3,4]
  5. Class Participation (10) [LO 5]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorial and tutorial-like activities; and

b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

Not required




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
2020 $3120
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4800
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8511 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person N/A

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