• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Anthropology, Archaeology, Development Studies, History, Asian Studies
  • Work Integrated Learning Fieldwork
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Li Narangoa
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Winter Session 2025
    See Future Offerings

Mongolia has a deep historical memory and cultural tradition but today’s Mongolia presents a new face to the international community as a successful post-socialist democracy and as one of the world’s largest commodity exporters. Mining has boosted the national economy but at a heavy sacrifice to surrounding ecology and local herding communities. Over two weeks of field study, students will witness firsthand the challenges that Mongolia faces through in-class lectures and language lessons; interaction with local community, mining and industry stakeholders; visits to sites of global historical and heritage importance; and aspects of unique nomadic cultural practices. Themes include environment, energy, cultural heritage, community health and infrastructure. Students will investigate the true cost of economic growth on the environmental, cultural and historic fabric of Mongolia – a nation caught between globalisation and ancient ways of life.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the current challenges of Mongolia from a cultural and historical perspective
  2. Discuss the tension between nomadic culture and sedentary industrial development and a growing capitalist economy
  3. Comprehend the historical, economic and political underpinnings of Mongolia's domestic politics, national identity and national security
  4. Better analyse situations based on empirical data through on-the-ground field research
  5. Demonstrate the ability to communicate cross-cultural analysis effectively to a general audience

Work Integrated Learning


This field-based activity offers you first-hand experience in understanding a wide range of concepts, to develop skills in observation, critical thinking and analysis, and applying that knowledge to a wider audience through different modes of communication.

Other Information

Must have completed 36 units of university courses

Students are required to participate in a competitive selection process to gain access to this course. click http://anu-au-sa.terradotta.com/ for more information.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Literature Review: annotated (1000-1500 words) (20) [LO 1,2,3,5]
  2. Contribution to learning while in-country (10) [LO 1,2,3,5]
  3. Notes from the field: excerpts from fieldnotes/journal (1500-2000 words) (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Blog posts: 4 short essays (400-600 words each, or up to 2400 words in total) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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 class time and self-study.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed at least 24 units of university courses.

You will need to contact the School of Culture History and Language to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

There is no prescribed text but some references are noted here and a longer list is available on Wattle.

Preliminary Reading

Reading materials will be identified via the course Wattle site. The ANU libraries have an extensive collection of books relating to Mongolia, particularly the Menzies Library. 

Abrams-Kavunenko, Saskia Enlightenment and the Gasping City: Mongolian Buddhism at a time of environmental disarray (2019) Available Online.

Baabar, B., and C. Kaplonski, Twentieth Century Mongolia, Folkestone: Global Oriental (2005). Menzies: DS798.75.B3313 2005

Bayandelger, Manduhai Tragic Spirits: shamanism, gender and identity in contemporary Mongolia (2013) Available online.

Bruun, Ole and Li Narangoa, Mongols from Country to City : floating boundaries, pastoralism and city life in the Mongol lands Copenhagen: NIAS (2006) Menzies: DS798.75 .M66 2006

Bulag, Uradyn Erden Nationalism and Hybridity in Mongolia (1998) Menzies: DS19 .B85 1998

Christian, David A History of Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia Oxford: Blackwell (1998). Chifley: DK40 .C49 1998

Empson, Rebecca Harnessing Fortune: personhood, memory and place in northeastern Mongolia (2011) Menzies DS798.4.E47 2011.

Endicott, Elizabeth A History of Land use in Mongolia: Thirteenth Century to the Present (2012). Available online.

High, Mette Fear and Fortune: spirit worlds and emerging economies in the Mongolian gold rush (2017) Available Online

Fijn, Natasha, Living with Herds: Human-Animal Coexistence in Mongolia, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press (2011). Hard copy in library and available online

Heissig, Walther The Religions of Mongolia London: Routledge And Kegan Paul (1980). Menzies: BL2370.M7.H312

Hibbert, Reginald, and Ann Hibbert, 'Letters from Mongolia', Anonymous Translator, New York and London: Radcliffe (2005). Menzies: DS798.2 H53 2005

Humphrey, Caroline and Hurelbaatar, Ujeed A Monastery in Time: the making of Mongolian Buddhism (2013) Available online.

Humphrey, Caroline and Onon, Urgunge Shamans and Elders: experience, knowledge and power among the Daur Mongols Menzies BL2370.S5H86 1996.

Assumed Knowledge

No prior knowledge of Mongolia or Mongolian is required. Students planning to take this course are encouraged to take Mongolian language (MNGL1002) and/or culture and history courses.


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
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.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6308 01 Jul 2025 18 Jul 2025 18 Jul 2025 30 Sep 2025 In Person N/A

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