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Subject details

 At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

  1. Recognise and explain key historical phenomena, patterns, and themes across time.
  2. Summarise the large-scale chronology of the past, identifying important thresholds
  3. Locate and interpret evidence about the past from a variety of disciplines
  4. Assess and apply selected approaches to the study of the past from a variety of disciplines
  5. Synthesise diverse primary and secondary evidence, from a variety of disciplines, to compose original written and oral arguments
  6. Outline a major scientific theory of change and express your judgement about whether it is 'history'
    • Introduction
    • Origins of the Universe and Stars
    • Origins of the Solar System and Earth
    • Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth
    • The Evolution of humans
    • The earliest human societies
    • Agriculture and its importance in human history
    • The origins of Power and States
    • Evolution of Agrarian Civilisations
    • Global Ecological Exchanges
    • Towards Modernity
    • The Industrial Revolution and Industrialisation
    • The Twentieth Century and Beyond
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Embedded Multimedia
      • Online assignment submission
      • Standard Media
      • Web links
    • Online materials

      • Resources and Links

Equivalent subjects

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

  • MAQ-HSTX115

Special requirements

  • OtherDetails -

    Students who have an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion under Macquarie University's Academic Progression Policy are not permitted to enrol in OUA units offered by Macquarie University. Students with an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion who have enrolled in units through OUA will be withdrawn.

This subject was previously known as HSTX115 An Introduction to Big History.

Please note: This subject is available in Macquarie Semester 3, which is an intensive semester that spans only 5 intensive teaching weeks, plus a mid-semester recess and an assessment period. Students are advised to enrol in only one or two subjects in Semester 3. Students who would prefer to take the unit over 13 teaching weeks should enrol in the Semester 1 offering.

This is the history of everything. While most history subjects look in detail at a particular country, theme or period, this subject surveys history on the biggest possible scale. It begins with the origins of the Universe and goes on to tell a series of linked stories about the origins of the stars and planets; the earth and its inhabitants; human beings; various types of human societies; and global interactions to the present day. Students in the subject explore the changing interactions between people, and between people and the environment. In so doing, they are encouraged to think about the kinds of evidence available to historians and the role that history can play in understanding the local and global communities that people belong to today. Finally, the subject invites students to think about what they regard as the central themes of world histories and big history. No prior knowledge of science or history is required.

  • Synoptic Essay (40%)
  • Short 4 x 500 words 10% each (40%)
  • Participation (10%)
  • Peer assessment (10%)

Textbook information is pending.

Related degrees

undergraduate MAQ-ART-DEG-2018

Bachelor of Arts

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  • Major in Ancient History
  • Major in English
  • Major in Modern History
  • Major in Philosophy
  • Major in Politics
  • Major in Society and Culture
  • Major in Sociology