ATS4218 - Ideas in history - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit



Mr Johnny Bell

Not offered in 2017


This unit explores how a range of different cultures and societies across time and place have sought to understand and explain their world to themselves and to others. By expanding on and developing knowledge about competing ideologies and worldviews acquired in their undergraduate studies in History, the unit develops students' ability to 'think historically' and to recognize that ideas and ideologies - including the idea of 'History' itself - are historically-contingent and reflective of the values, beliefs and power structures of their time. While the specific details of what topics, periods and places to be studied in any given semester will depend on staff availability and research interests, the unit will be based around key concepts and organizing categories such as religion, class, economics, race, gender and sexuality. Students will be expected to read key primary and secondary texts that have informed and continue to inform ideological and belief systems, and to engage with debates about the role of ideas and values in the contemporary world.


  1. Demonstrate an understanding of a range of major ideas and ideologies that have influenced, and continue to influence societies across time and place;
  2. Demonstrate a familiarity with and an ability to critically engage with a range of these ideas and ideologies and to recognise their historical contingency;
  3. Demonstrate an ability to critically engage with the key texts associated with these ideas and ideologies;
  4. Demonstrate a strong awareness of the role of ideas and ideologies in the craft of history, including the impact of new sources and methods on how the past is understood and presented in scholarly research;
  5. Demonstrate high-level skills in independent research, critical analysis of primary and secondary sources, and mastery of the techniques of scholarly writing, presentation and referencing and similar conventions.


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


This unit is only available to students enrolled in a Bachelor's honours degree