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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST2320 The Lucky Country? The Social History of Australia in the Twentieth Century

20 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Alexia Moncrieff

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The home of the world’s oldest continuing civilisation, colonised by Britain, supposedly 'born on the beaches of Gallipoli' and located on the edge of Asia, Australian society has many influences. With half of its citizens having at least one parent born somewhere else, it is a nation of migrants. Purportedly a classless society and proudly the land of the ‘fair go', inequalities persist across Australian society. This module examines the factors and events that have shaped Australian society and culture since Federation in 1901, including the enacting and eventual dismantling of the White Australia Policy, the treatment of Aboriginal people and campaigns for Indigenous land rights, the changing role of women in society, and the domestic legacies of wars. Over the course of the module, students will explore the social, cultural, political and economic changes that have shaped Australia and the effects of those changes on its people, questioning ideas of identity, nation, race and gender.


The objectives of this module are:

1. To assess the nature of social, political and cultural change in Australia after 1901
2. To examine the responses to and effects of these changes.
3. To analyse the ways in which individuals and groups construct Australian identity to advocate for or against change.
4. To understand the diversity of the Australian experience
5. To critically analyse written and visual primary sources relating to the themes of the module
6. To evaluate historiographical developments in the history of modern Australia

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate broad knowledge of the significant events, people, places and themes in modern Australian history
2. Identify and account for the shifts and transformations in Australian politics and society since 1901
3. Critically analyse constructions of identity with specific reference to Australian history
4. Critically analyse the sources, methods and arguments used by historians of Australia and scholars in cognate disciplines
5. Proficiently use digitised primary source collections related to Australian history to locate relevant source material
6. Demonstrate skills of historical analysis both verbally and in writing


Topics may include:
Indigenous rights
Wartime in Australia and its domestic legacies
Protest and change
Migration and multiculturalism
Everyday life
Australian identity

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Reading and preparation for seminars
Further self-directed reading
Research for and preparation of assessments
Office hours and individual tutorials

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Feedback will be provided after each biographical study
In-class discussion
Office hours and individual tutorials

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000 words due 12 noon Monday of exam week 260.00
AssignmentBiographical study, 2x1000 words (800 biography + 200 reflection), due 12 noon Monday of weeks 5 & 940.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 15:57:31


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