• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject History
  • Areas of interest History, Philosophy
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Alexander Cook
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2021
    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.

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 critically 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; and
  5. explain in oral and written form how the history and theory of histories might inform their own research and communication practices.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Article analysis or short essay (1,500 words) (35) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. Essay; or Book Proposal, and self assessment (3000 words) (55) [LO 1,3,4,5]
  3. Contribution to collective learning (10) [LO 4,5]

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.


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

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.

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.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2021 $3180
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $4890
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
2024 22 Feb 2021 01 Mar 2021 31 Mar 2021 28 May 2021 In Person View

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