Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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.

print version

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitHistory
OfferedNot offered in 2015
Coordinator(s)Professor Alistair Thomson


This unit examines the theoretical and methodological issues posed in the creation of oral history interviews, drawing upon the rich inter-disciplinary and international literature in the field and through critical reflection on students' own oral history interview practice. Students will explore: debates about memory and oral history; approaches and issues in interview preparation; approaches and issues in conducting oral history interviews; digital audio recording techniques and issues; ethical, epistemological and political issues posed by the oral history relationship; and approaches and issues in the documentation and preservation of oral history interviews.


Students successfully completing this unit will be expected to demonstrate:

  1. a comprehensive and critical understanding of the key intellectual and political debates about the nature of recorded memory and its use as a source for social and historical research
  2. a thorough grasp of the essential elements of oral history project preparation, of the techniques of oral history interviewing and recording, of the debates about oral history methodologies and the oral history relationship, and of the ethical guidelines of the Oral History Association of Australia
  3. a thorough grasp of the main approaches to the documentation of oral history interviews, and of the debates about transcription and documentation
  4. strong skills in critical oral and written assessment of the academic scholarship, including methods, assumptions and uses of evidence, and in organising and defending a verbal and written argument based upon those assessments
  5. a capacity to devise, plan and successfully complete an oral history interview project, including research and preparation, an extended interview and appropriate documentation
  6. a capacity to evaluate issues posed within the course of an oral history recording project by drawing upon oral history scholarship
  7. at level 5, students will have developed an enhanced appreciation of these issues through more extensive understanding of theoretical approaches.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 288 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


APG4297, APG5297