Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


Controversial topics inevitably arise in our society. Each has a history that can stretch back hundreds and sometimes thousands of years. This course explores the historical origins of contemporary controversies to better understand their significance. Such explorations are designed to introduce students to foundational concepts addressed in the study of history and to provide insight into the methods that they typically employ.

Availability2022 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Identify the historical origins of key controversial issues of contemporary relevance;

2. Employ skills in studying and analysing concepts and issues in the study of history;

3. Show basic competence interpreting historical and contextual factors at work within the topics in question;

4. Demonstrate communication skills appropriate to the presentation of historical issues.


The course may explore the historical origins of the following range of topics: human rights, slavery and democracy; love, marriage and sexuality; trauma, social conflict and violence.

Assessment items

Quiz: Online quiz (25%)

Online Learning Activity: Online learning task 1 (25%)

Online Learning Activity: Online learning task 2 (25%)

Essay: Written essay (25%)

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 1

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.