Australia and the World: 1788 to Present - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP1 , SP3
  • Availability for 2018: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Essay 1 (35%) , Essay 2 (45%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

As Deborah Gare says, in Making Australian History (2008): "To many Australians,
history is about little more than stories of convicts or the heroic failure at Gallipoli. For
the unlucky nine-year-old children I was at school with, it was about the tediously
narrated Burke and Wills expedition .... Yet Australia's past is much more significant
than the dry-as-dust stuff many have been subjected to, and it remains a constant
battleground for power and politics in Australia" (p. xxxi). In this unit, we will go beyond the "dry-as-dust stuff" and explore the broad outlines of Australia's history. From early concepts of Terra Australis and the richness of Aboriginal culture before the
establishment of a convict colony by the British in 1788, through the transformation into an independent nation to modern-day multicultural Australia, this unit will look at the confrontations and interactions, the changes and continuities, the successes and
failures that have shaped a nation. Themes of particular interest include the relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians; the convict experience; life in the colony; Australian experiences of war; and the political, social and cultural changes that have helped shape and reshape contemporary Australia.

This unit aims to challenge commonly held ideas and beliefs about Australian history and society. In doing so, you are expected to develop skills in working with primary documents and in discriminating between different interpretations of Australia’s past.

After successfully completing this unit students should be able to:

  1. Critique the different perspectives on the major developments in Australian cultural, social and political history when defining national identity, the formation of national structures and institutions.
  2. Critically analyze the forces of change that have seen Australia develop into a multicultural society.
  3. Present your analysis of debates on Australian history to peers.
  4. Source, organize, critically evaluate and interpret information from valid academic references to construct and support an argument.
  • Essay 1 (35%)
  • Essay 2 (45%)
  • Online Discussion (20%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Note: Level 2 units normally assume an introductory level of prior knowledge in this area, e.g. from studying related Level 1 units or other relevant experience.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1The Past
2Understanding History

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission

Online materials

  • Online Assessment
  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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