2020 History Subject Reviews

Curious about what history subject to take at uni? Here are some subject reviews provided by the Chariot team.

HIST20060 Total War: World War 2

If you want to analyse the major events of World War 2 and gain a deeper understanding of total war during this period, then this is the subject for you. Instead of focusing on just one theatre of war, this subject explores WW2 in Asia, Europe, Australia and the US, allowing students to have a more holistic view of the whole war. Each week, students examine a different topic of the war in a 1.5 hour lecture and later discuss it in the 1 hour tutorial. Topics include fascism, the Third Reich, barbarisation, the Red Army, the Japanese empire, genocide, naval powers, and more.

HIST20069 Modern European History

Modern European History examines the major events and turning points in Europe from 1789 to 1914, the outbreak of World War One. During this period, Europe drastically changed because of industrialisation, science, urbanisation, militarisation, new ideologies, among others, which are explored in this subject. Students will learn about the French Revolution, Napoleon, the Industrial Revolution, nationalism and more. Tutorials involved analysing how these events, people and ideologies affected how Europe modernised.

HIST10012 The World Since World War II

The World Since World War II has two 1-hour lectures and one 1-hour tutorial per week. The subject looks at world history from the end of World War II until September 11, with a primary focus on the Cold War. Key topics include nuclear warfare, Stalinisation of Eastern Europe, proxy warfare, neo-liberalism, globalisation, human rights, counterculture, decolonisation, and political Islam. There is a lot of overlapping content with politics and international relations, particularly in the later weeks. This subject has three assessments: the first is a 500-word primary source analysis, the second is a 2,000-word research essay, and finally a take-home exam of two 750-word essays due during the exam period. I took this subject in semester one of 2019 and found the content interesting and useful, particularly its relevance to today’s world.

ANCW20025 Archaeology of the Roman World

Archaeology of the Roman World has 1.5 hours of lectures and 1 hour of tutorials per week. The

subject goes through a brief history of the field of archaeology, and studies the social, political,

economic, and religious aspects of the Roman world through the analysis of artefacts. I particularly liked the practical aspect of this subject – one tutorial involved working with authentic Roman-era coins in Arts West’s object-based laboratory, which was an amazing and unique experience. I also liked the incorporation of modern application, with several lectures looking at how Roman history is used by those in more recent times. There are two assessments of 2,000-word essays each, one due around the middle of the semester and one due during the exam period, which also includes a 10 minute oral presentation of the topic. I took this subject in semester two of 2019 and found the content to be incredibly enjoyable to learn.

HIST30064 Controversies in Australian History

Controversies in Australian history is a great subject if you are unfamiliar with, or want to delve more deeply into Australian history topics. The subject is structured chronologically covering 200 years of contested history. Professor Andrew May presents each side of the controversy, explaining the incident, why it was controversial then and how it has been remembered today. I appreciated the inclusion of notable Indigenous history, from the Myall Creek massacre, to the Mabo land rights case. 

The subject is a little heavy on the required reading, but the sources listed are really interesting reads and useful as primary sources when it comes to assessment. The subject has two essays and an incredibly helpful 250 word essay outline task, which allows the tutor to provide feedback for the main 2250 word research essay. Overall, if you are interested in Australian history or know little about it, this subject is a great way to deepen your understanding and challenge your preconceptions about the past

1 thought on “2020 History Subject Reviews”

  1. Those all look really interesting.

    Another one that I really enjoyed was USA and the World (HIST30065), looking at American twentieth century history. It included a really fun role play of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    Also I did a law breadth subject Public Trials (LAWS30024), which was also very interesting historically looking at prominent court trials in the 20th century. I did my essay on public significance of the Mabo trial.


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