Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP3 , SP4
  • Availability for 2017: Sem2
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 (30%) , Assignment 2 (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 798.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,048.00

This unit was previously known as HST330 The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Learn about a key period of western history, the late fourth to the late sixth centuries AD known as the Fall of Rome. This period represents the transition from the ancient to the medieval period and provides a basis for many European historical conceptions. You will focus on the dynamics of imperial rule, the collapse of the Roman frontier system, the so-called barbarian invasions and religious disputes associated with the consolidation of Christianity. You will explore these issues through documents written at the time that include political speeches and holy biographies.

At the completion of this unit students will have:

  1. a grasp of the main political, economic, and religious developments of the period
  2. familiarity with major sources of the period
  3. an introduction to methodologies and interpretative issues involved in the exploitation of sources of the period
  4. familiarity with relevant, critical analysis, expression.
  • Assignment 1 (30%)
  • Assignment 2 (30%)
  • Non-Invigilated Exam (30%)
  • Online Discussion (10%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • HST330 — The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Students must complete level 1 and 2 studies in Ancient History prior to commencing this unit.

  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient

This unit addresses the following topics.

1The structure of the Later Roman Empire
2The nature of written sources for the period
3Key genres of written sources for the period
4Roman and 'barbarian' interaction and ideological representation
5The fragmentation of the Roman West and the establishment of the 'barbarian kingdoms'
6The structure of the western kingdoms and their relationship with the east Roman empire
7The issue of identity
8Modern interpretations and uses of the Fall of Rome

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is an approved elective 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.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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