Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitHistory
OfferedNot offered in 2013
Coordinator(s)Professor Alistair Thomson


How do we make the past into history? In this unit you'll learn how to make histories. You'll consider different ideas about history-making, and then practice critical use of various historical sources - many of which will be online - such as life writing, oral history, archival records, newspapers, visual sources, material culture, and landscape. You'll apply these new ideas and intriguing sources by developing a proposal for an original history research project (for a written dissertation or for an exhibition, website, film or radio), and you will produce a short online digital history which profiles your project.


At level 3 students successfully completing this subject are expected to gain a conceptual and practical understanding of historical sources, methods and production, and to develop analytical and research skills for a fourth-year thesis or comparable research project. In addition, they will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an ability to formulate research projects and acquire independent research skills.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of a variety of primary historical sources and of approaches and issues in their use in the production of a historical argument.
  3. Place primary and secondary sources in their cultural, ideological and intellectual context by showing where they fit into the current state of historical knowledge.
  4. Demonstrate a critical understanding of some of the ongoing debates about the philosophy and practice of history.
  5. Demonstrate a critical understanding of approaches and issues involved in historical production in different formats, such as written publication, radio and film, museum exhibitions, or online.
  6. Demonstrate an ability to use online digital history resources.


Class participation: (10%)
Primary source analysis (submitted by end of week 4)(500 words): 10%
Project proposal (2000 words): 30%
Digital history project (3 minute online production): 25%
Class test (1000 words): 25%

Note that at level 2 students will be directed to prepared topics and sources for their project. At level 3 students will be given more freedom to design their own topic and find appropriate sources, and will be expected to draw on a wider range of primary and secondary sources. In addition, at level 3 students will be expected to demonstrate a higher level of conceptual awareness.

Note that the Digital history project will involve use of the Museum Victoria online educational resource Making History, through which students will produce a 3 minute online digital history, incorporating textual, visual and audio sources, which will be securely stored for assessment purposes.

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One 1-hour lecture per week and one 1-hour tutorial per week.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


A first year sequence in History, International Studies or Archaeology and Ancient History or permission from the coordinator.