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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST3015 Indonesia from Revolution to Dictatorship, 1945-1967

40 creditsClass Size: 16

Module manager: Dr Matthew Woolgar

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module provides specialist coverage of the post-independence history of Indonesia, one of the world’s most populous countries and a prominent Muslim-majority country. The module covers a tumultuous period in Indonesia’s history, from the outbreak of its revolutionary war of independence in the 1940s, through the rise and fall of a dynamic democracy, to the onset of anti-communist massacres and rise of a Western-backed military dictatorship in the mid-1960s. During this period competing visions for Indonesia’s future were vigorously contested, amid vibrant intellectual and cultural debates and the emergence of new social movements. Meanwhile, Indonesia played a leading role in the emerging international movement for Afro-Asian solidarity and against imperialism. Students will examine how Indonesians set about meeting the challenges faced by the new republic amid a society marked by social, ethnic and religious diversity, as well as a broader international context of accelerating decolonisation and an intensifying global Cold War. Content note: to discuss these themes effectively it is necessary for us to read/look at/discuss material which covers some topics which may be challenging for you. These topics include: racism, sexism, religious discrimination and violence (including inter-ethnic and gendered violence). The module tutor can provide more information on this if required.


The aim of this module is to develop students’ skills, to enhance their ability to critically engage with scholarship and primary sources on Indonesia’s post-independence history amid its international contexts, and to develop their capacity to effectively articulate historical arguments in relation to the issues covered.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module, students will have:
1. Demonstrated a sophisticated understanding of Indonesia’s post-independence history in its international contexts.
2. Analysed the interaction between social, cultural and political developments, as well as the interplay between local, national and international dynamics.
3. Evaluated differing historiographical interpretations, understood the basis of these differences, and adjudicated between them.
4. Critically engaged with a range of primary source materials and assessed the ways we can use these sources and their potential limitations.
5. Communicated historical arguments concisely and with precision.
6. Developed well-reasoned, sustained arguments in relation to the issues covered by the module.


Indicative topics include: Indonesia’s anti-colonial struggles and imperial legacies; the rise and fall of democracy; social movements and contestation related to religion, ethnicity, class and gender; forms of cultural expression and debate; Indonesia’s role on the world stage; the interaction of political violence, state power and international competition.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours352.00
Total Contact hours48.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Discussion in class will enable ongoing feedback and monitoring of student engagement and progress, whilst office hours sessions offer further opportunities to provide formative feedback.In preparation for the essay, students will receive a one-to-one meeting with the tutor during semester 1 (around Week 9/10), in which students will give a short presentation (5 minutes) on the essay plan and arguments on which they will receive oral feedback from the tutor. In preparation for the OTA, students will submit two sample gobbet answers. These will receive written feedback. The tutor will also provide oral feedback to the class in terms of overall learnings from the gobbet exercises.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay4000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment48 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

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: 28/04/2023 14:41:11


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