• Class Number 7297
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In-Person and Online
    • Sue Thompson
    • Sue Thompson
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/07/2022
  • Class End Date 28/10/2022
  • Census Date 31/08/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/08/2022
SELT Survey Results

War dominates the history of Vietnam and its neighbours in the period 1941-1991. During this era the region was wracked by conflicts that reflected the  multiple currents and tensions stemming from nationalism, the desire for self-determination, de-colonisation, schemes of national unification, imperialism, post-colonial nation building, regional power rivalries, global ideological tensions and the Cold War. From the war of decolonisation against the French to the US intervention from the early 1960s, Vietnam became one of the Cold War’s ‘hot wars’ and a symbol of the American desire to ‘contain’ communism. Yet the communist victory in 1975 did not mean the end of war in mainland Southeast Asia. The Vietnam War’s linked conflicts in Cambodia and Laos who had their own causes and consequences and the emergence of a unified Vietnam as a regional power meant it was soon embroiled in an invasion of Kampuchea and then border clashes with China. This course seeks to understanding the impact of the Vietnam wars by exploring issues around their relationship to the nature and character of war, decolonisation and imperialism, the geo-politics of Asia, the Cold War, US policies of containment, military strategy and the popular memory/interpretation of war in literature and film.

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Describe the key features of the wars involving Vietnam from 1941-1991.

2. Identify the key developments and transitions in the conduct of war the during the French and American Wars in Vietnam.

3. Critique historical understanding on the conflicts in Vietnam through the use of a range of historical resources and interpretations.

4. Analyses the popular culture interpretations of the war in the United States and Australia.

5. Demonstrate a comprehension of the complexity of the different conflicts involving Vietnam between 1941-1991.

6. Employ written and oral communication skills to clearly and confidently articulate your ideas about war and warfare in Vietnam.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Colonial Vietnam, World War Two and Post-War Policy
2 War with the French
3 The Geneva Accords and the Division of Vietnam
4 American Intervention and Military Escalation Document Analysis due Tuesday 19 August by 11:55pm
5 Australia and the Vietnam War
6 Strategy, Doctrine and Tactics
7 The War at Home
8 The Vietnam War in Popular Culture
9 Ending the Vietnam War Research Essay due Tuesday 4 October by 11:55pm
10 Consequences of the Vietnam War
11 Vietnam’s Invasion of Cambodia and War with China
12 The Peace Process Take-home exam Thursday 3 November – Friday 4 November

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Document Analysis 15 % 19/08/2022 30/08/2022 3,5-6
Research Essay 40 % 04/10/2022 21/10/2022 1-6
Take-Home Examination 35 % 04/11/2022 * 1-6
Tutorial Participation 10 % * * 1-3

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 19/08/2022
Return of Assessment: 30/08/2022
Learning Outcomes: 3,5-6

Document Analysis

You will choose one (1) document from a list of documents distributed in week one. Use the material you have gained from lectures and tutorials to put your chosen document in its proper historical context. You should not simply summarise the document, but rather give an account of its significance.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 04/10/2022
Return of Assessment: 21/10/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1-6

Research Essay

You will answer one (1) question from a list of distributed in week one. The research essay assessment task is an opportunity for you to:

  1. initiate and conduct research using library, electronic and other resources
  2. demonstrate your familiarity with information and ideas at the frontiers of knowledge
  3. demonstrate your ability to think critically and advance a logical, structured argument
  4. demonstrate your ability to write succinctly in an academic style that conforms to conventions on proper referencing

Assessment Task 3

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 04/11/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1-6

Take-Home Examination

You will answer four (4) questions chosen from a list on the exam paper. The purpose of the take-home examination is to assess: (1) your knowledge of, and ability to synthesise, subject matter considered throughout the semester; and (2) your ability, within a short time-frame, to generate written arguments based on critical analysis. 

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1-3

Tutorial Participation

Tutorial participation marks will be based upon evidence of having done the assigned readings, evidence of having through about the issues, contribution and participation in tutorials and online forums.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

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.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Sue Thompson
02 6125 3207

Research Interests

Sue Thompson

By Appointment
By Appointment
Sue Thompson
6125 6481

Research Interests

Sue Thompson

By Appointment
By Appointment

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