• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject History
  • Areas of interest History, Philosophy
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Alexander Cook
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

This course will help you to become a better historian and a better analyst of historical research, narratives and representations. It examines the principles, strategies and assumptions underlying different forms of history. It also explores current debates about the discipline and its future development. The course focuses on the development of historical practices over the past 250 years, and the character of the 'modern' discipline, but this process will be explored in the context of longer-term practices across time and between cultures. The course will encourage you to consider the social functions of historical writing as well as to explore the methods and models employed by historians within different traditions and schools of historical thought. It will provide useful tools for professionals who engage with historical thinking in their work, including new or inexperienced teachers, or those who work in kindred fields to history within the public or private sector.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. comprehend and constructively debate key philosophical and methodological issues in the study of history;
  2. identify and analyse critically the methods employed by different historians in the past and today;
  3. identify and analyse the assumptions and premises embedded in written, visual or audio representations of the past;
  4. construct and sustain arguments in oral and written form about the strengths and weakness of particular approaches to history;
  5. explain in oral and written form how the history and theory of histories might inform their own research and communication practices; and
  6. develop and conduct an independent research and analysis project with support from the course convenor.

Other Information

Course delivery type - combination of on campus and online

Indicative Assessment

  1. History Analysis, and self assessment (2000 words) (35) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. Research project 3500 words, and self assessment (55) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Course Participation, weeks 2–12 (online or in person, based on rubric, weeks 2–12) (10) [LO 1,2,3,5]

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. 

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.


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 tutorials; and

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

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed HIST2110

Prescribed Texts

There are no prescribed texts for this course. Weekly class source readings will be made available in electronic form.

Preliminary Reading

Recommended reading:

John Burrow, A History of Histories, New York: Knopf, 2008.

Anna Green and Kathleen Troup, The Houses of History: A Critical Reader in Twentieth-Century History and Theory, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999.

Marnie Hughes-Warrington, History as Wonder: Beginning with Historiography, Abingdon: Routledge, 2019. [Inclusion of this text is approved by the Head of Department].

Daniel Woolf, A Concise History of History, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019. 

Assumed Knowledge

No prior knowledge is assumed, but experienced students of history theory are also welcome.


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 $3570
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5460
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
2027 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person N/A
3122 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 Online N/A

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