• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Pacific Studies
  • Areas of interest Pacific Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Christopher Ballard
    • Prof Geoffrey Clark
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

The Pacific, home to a broad range of societies, cultures, languages, and nations, is one of the world’s most diverse and contested geopolitical regions. Foreign explorers and traders have interacted with Pacific Islanders from as early as the 16th century, introducing new ideologies, languages, diseases, products, and people. This interdisciplinary foundation course brings together anthropological, archaeological, historical, and linguistic perspectives to contextualise the long term processes that led to the development of such remarkable diversity that characterises the region today. How and to what extent have people’s ways of life been shaped by their past? How are Pacific Islanders adapting to changing circumstances in the present? What challenges do the people and the region face in the future? 

PASI8002 is a keystone course in Pacific Studies. Students will learn how natural and human systems have interacted over millennia to create the dynamic and often precarious world of Oceania and it is an essential foundation for anyone seeking to work in the Pacific region and/or with Pacific Island communities. It is a mandatory course for the Graduate Certificate of Engaging the Pacific program. It is strongly recommended that all students undertaking a degree with a Pacific regional focus complete this course. The learning outcomes will be valuable for students taking other 8000 or 6000 level PASI courses and build substantively on the learning outcomes of 2000 and 3000 level PASI courses. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the significance of migration, cultural contact, and globalisation in the development of Pacific Islander societies.
  2. Demonstrate how a combination of concepts and techniques from disciplines in the sciences and humanities can enhance our understanding of the Pacific region and its peoples.
  3. Display high-level skills of reading comprehension, writing, and presenting in styles suitable for a professional workplace environment and for a general audience.
  4. Communicate arguments and findings effectively, both orally and in writing.
  5. Apply knowledge of the Pacific by drawing upon transdisciplinary research to construct a detailed argument using an explicit structure and method, and employ correct use of scholarly citation.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Map quiz (10) [LO 1,2,4]
  2. Course content quiz (20) [LO 1,2,4]
  3. Individual presentation (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Research essay (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.


The course will meet for 2 hours per week consisting of a lecture followed by a group discussion of nominated readings and student presentations. Student workload is estimated at 10 hours/week. 

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

Specific readings will be assigned for each class based on the lecture topic and will be available on Wattle.


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
2024 $4080
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6000
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
3166 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 In Person View

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