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Undergraduate | MAQ-MHIX3030-2023

Screening the Past: History on Film and Television

Study method

100% online


100% online

Entry requirements

Prior study needed


18 weeks

Start dates

  • 24 July 2023

Price from


Upfront cost


HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP available

About this subject

What you'll learn

Note: Students may only enrol in this subject if they have completed either 130 cp at 1000 level or above OR 20 cp in HIST or MHIS or MHIX subjects at 2000 level or above. See Entry requirements for details.

On successful completion of this subject, you will be able to:

  1. Locate historical films and television programs within the context of their production.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of the ways that films and television programs produce interpretations of the past.
  3. Conceptualise and create an original research project by presenting a coherent historical argument that is situated in the relevant historiography.
  4. Successfully undertake independent primary and secondary historical research.
  5. Develop and apply a critical vocabulary for the analysis of film and televisual materials as primary sources.
    • A week-by-week guide to the topics you will explore in this subject will be provided in your study materials.
  • Recent surveys of popular historical awareness have demonstrated that most people find out about the past from film and television, yet visual histories are often criticised for the ways they present the past. This subject will consider the limitations and possibilities of history on screen. Do filmic histories represent a more 'authentic' engagement with the past, or do they peddle false versions of history to a gullible public? How might we read historical films and television programs carefully and critically to understand diverse historical interpretations? This subject will develop student's understandings of the critical study of history on film, examining the ways that all historical texts (including films) make arguments about the past. The unit will examine cinematic and televisual representations of Australian, American and British histories.

    • Research Project Proposal (20%)
    • Weekly Qiz (30%)
    • Research Essay (50%)
  • For textbook details check your university's handbook, website or learning management system (LMS).

  • This research-intensive university in north-western Sydney offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. With over 44,000 current students, Macquarie has a strong reputation for welcoming international students and embracing flexible and convenient study options, including its partnership with Open Universities Australia.

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Entry requirements

Prior study

You must have successfully completed the following subject(s) before starting this subject:


NCCW (pre-2020 units) MHIS101, MHIS303 NCCW (2020 and onwards) MHIS3030 Screening the Past: History on Film and Television Pre-requisite: 130cp at 1000 level or above OR (20cp in HIST or MHIS or MHIX units at 2000 level)

Additional requirements

  • Other requirements - 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.

What to study next?

Once you’ve completed this subject it can be credited towards one of the following degrees

Macquarie University logo


Bachelor of Arts

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