• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject History
  • Areas of interest Australian Studies, History
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Angela Woollacott
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

This course provides a fresh introduction to Australian history since 1788. We will cast aside many of the traditional assumptions about Australian history, and seek to replace them with new angles of vision on the main episodes and the large and varied cast of women and men who have shaped this nation from its contested beginnings. The course uses three main approaches:

  • interrogating myths and legends in the light of historical evidence;
  • biographical vignettes of men and women, from a range of class and ethnic backgrounds, whose stories tell us about various periods and episodes extending from the earliest cultural encounters between British settlers and Indigenous people to recent history;
  • and the analytical frame of gender - so that we can see how changing ideas of femininity and masculinity have shaped Australians' lives.

Using these three approaches, the course surveys the making and meaning of Australian history over more than two centuries. As an MA course, it will include a focus on historians' methods and interpretations.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Reflect on and discuss a wide range of events in, and aspects of, Australian history;
  2. Analyse important episodes and themes in Australian history using a range of individual life stories;
  3. Analyse the ways changing ideas of gender (both masculinities and femininities) have shaped Australian history and vice versa;
  4. Present an argument about how Australian history is presented in public exhibitions and other media, and how particular myths have evolved;
  5. Explain central themes in Australian history using specific events; and
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of historiographical debates.

Indicative Assessment

Participation Learning Outcomes (10%) Learning Outcomes1-6.
Research Essay, 3,000 words (40%) Learning Outcomes 2, 3, 4, 5.
Historiographical Essay, 3,000 words (50%) Learning Outcomes 2, 4, 5, 6.

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.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed HIST2244.


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
3504 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person N/A

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