HISTORY 103G Global History

HISTORY 103G | BE, EDSW, EMHSS, LC | Semester One 2021 | City Campus | 15 points


This Stage I course introduces students to some basic aspects of the study of history. It runs from the late fifteenth century, when communities and cultures around the world started to become interconnected, up to the so-called ‘globalised’ world of the present day. We introduce students to developments which increasingly bound together the fates of different peoples and cultures, including the emergence of world trade networks, the growth of world religions, the formation of regional and global empires, the global role of violence and conflict, the migrations of peoples across continents, and the ecological and environmental impacts of human societies. The course is organised thematically as well as chronologically, and offers students a deeper understanding of how our lives today are shaped by the global as well as the local legacies of the past.

Learning Outcomes

You will obtain an overview of key developments in global history from the fifteenth century to the present. You will discover that studying history is not merely about finding out what happened in the past, but about explaining how and why things happened and why those occurrences are important. You will receive a basic introduction to some of the ways in which historians construct, analyse, and interpret the past, and you will encounter the diverse kinds of evidence (what historians term ‘primary sources’) on which scholars base their interpretations of history. In both content and approach, this course offers a foundation for understanding how people and societies existed in the past, but also how that shared global past has shaped the world in which we live today. The course has been designed to be accessible and welcoming to students with interests outside history as well as students who plan to pursue further study in history.


An important element of Stage I courses is to impart skills that a historian needs and that can also be used in other fields which require the assimilation, assessment and presentation of information. These skills include:

  • The effective use of library resources and information technology, with opportunities to develop and use information literacy competencies in learning contexts and assessments
  • The ability to assimilate information and take useful notes from lectures, oral discussions, and written sources
  • The ability to reference ideas and arguments accurately using appropriate scholarly conventions, such as footnotes/endnotes and bibliographies
  • The ability to present in clear, well-structured prose a reasoned argument supported by appropriate evidence 

Course Objectives

  • To offer students an historical overview of key economic, social, cultural, political, and environmental developments affecting peoples of the world since the fifteenth century
  • To examine the encounters between different peoples and cultures, both over time and across global space
  • To familiarise students with some principal concepts used to interpret the global past, such as imperialism, industrialisation, nationalism, democracy, communism, indigenous rights and globalisation
  • To develop students' ability to offer ideas and arguments in both written and oral formats

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