HSC History Extension
The History Extension course offers a higher level of challenge than the Ancient History and Modern History courses with its greater emphasis on historiography. It is a challenging one unit course for students who are deep thinkers, avid readers, fantastic researchers, and self-starters. Enrolment in either Ancient History, Modern History or both are prerequisites for this course. This course goes beyond the traditional historical concepts of ‘past and present’ or ‘primary and secondary sources’ to a study of historiography. This involves intriguing questions such as: How is history written? Why? Is there ‘truth’ in history? Who decides what is history? Concepts like relativity in history, history as a human construct and the authenticity of history are all considered. Students analyse and evaluate different historical perspectives and approaches and the varying interpretations developed from these.
The first half of the course is dedicated to a study of ‘What is History?’ in which we look at a wide variety of historical texts such as the ancient historians Herodotus and Thucydides to contemporary histories from the 2015 Nobel Prize winner, Svetlana Alexievich, and Richard Evans. We move on, in the second semester, to an analysis of the different ways in which ‘The Crusades: Campaigns of the Cross?’ have been written about. The latter involves considering historical texts from the medieval period through to the Enlightenment, Romanticism, the emergence of Arab Nationalism in the 20th Century as well as contemporary writings on the subject.
Students also undertake a major research project involving analysis, synthesis and evaluation of information from historical sources of differing perspectives and historical approaches. This gives each student the chance to explore an aspect of history that they are passionate about. Students visit Fisher Library at Sydney University to help them find resources for their History Project and to equip them for further research.
History Extension Course Structure and Requirements - (60 hours)
- Constructing History: Key Questions and Case Study – 40 (minimum Indicative hours)
- History Project: 20 (maximum Indicative hours)