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Unit of study_

HSTY3902: History Beyond the Classroom

Semester 2, 2021 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

In this unit you will frame, research and produce an original project based on an engagement with communities and organisations outside the University. You will explore history in action in a variety of contexts and think about different ways of creating and disseminating history that will interest and inform a public audience. Lectures and field trips will help you to frame relevant community-based questions, adopt appropriate methodologies, and explore new ways of presenting your arguments or narratives.

Unit details and rules

Unit code HSTY3902
Academic unit History
Credit points 6
12 credit points at 2000 level in History
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Marama Whyte,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Participation Tutorial participation
15% - n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Research Bibliography
5% - 250 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Project Proposal
10% - 500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Project Diary
15% - 1250 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Research Project
55% - 4000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11 LO12

Assessment summary

  • Project proposal and Bibliography: The first assignment is designed to show that you have selected a viable community organization with whom to work and have a plan in place with them to do some work for their benefit. The second part of this assignment is designed to show that you have a viable project and to pick up any potential problems. It should demonstrate: the main aims and argument of the project, the kinds of sources you will use, what format the final project will take, and who will benefit from it. You must attach a list of primary and secondary sources to this assignment. This does not form part of the word count.
  • Reflective Diary: Throughout the semester, you need to keep a reflective diary. Part of the diary will include responses to the formal readings, which you will submit prior to a reading class, as explained in the chart above which we will discuss in class the following day. You should also keep a record of your contact and interaction with your chosen community or organization and the growth of your ideas for the project. 
  • Major Project: The major project is the largest assessment of the semester, and is the culmination of all the previous work assessments. It should be a substantial original public history project based on appropriate sources and engaging extensively with relevant secondary literature. It will not take the form of a traditional essay, but the same elements of an essay ought to be made clear. We will discuss alternative formats for presentation of work in class.
  • Participation: Participation is assessed on the value of your contributions to class discussion and your completion of any relevant class exercises, including the blog entries. We look to see that you have completed the readings, made an effort to respond to classmates’ contributions, asked thoughtful questions or added pertinent observations or arguments based on a close reading of the assigned texts or exercises. Because this is a community-engaged public history unit, your participation mark will also be dependent on at least two blog entries to our collaborative class blogsite.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found in the Canvas site for this unit

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.


For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction Lecture and tutorial (2 hr)  
Week 02 What is History? Lecture and tutorial (2 hr)  
Week 03 What is Public History? Lecture and tutorial (2 hr)  
Week 04 Becoming a Public Historian Lecture and tutorial (2 hr)  
Week 05 Public History in Practice Lecture and tutorial (2 hr)  
Week 06 Approaches to 'Local' History Lecture and tutorial (2 hr)  
Week 07 Decolonising Public History & Australian Museum Field Trip Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO8 LO9
Week 08 Project Management - Individual Lecture and tutorial (2 hr)  
Week 09 Doing Oral History Lecture and tutorial (2 hr)  
Week 10 Historical Memory & Sydney Jewish Museum Field Trip Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 11 Presenting Public History Lecture and tutorial (2 hr)  
Week 12 Historical Narrative & Major Project Workshop Lecture and tutorial (2 hr)  
Week 13 Major Project Workshop Lecture and tutorial (2 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold. This is all subject to change given the possibility of new isolation requirements due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Lecture recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed on the Library eReserve link available on Canvas.

  • Required reading: Anna Clark, Private Lives, Public History (MUP, 2016)
  • Recommended reading: Thomas Cauvin, Public History: A Textbook of Practice (Routledge, 2016)

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate independent learning
  • LO2. demonstrate a firm grasp of the principles, practices and boundaries of the discipline of history
  • LO3. demonstrate awareness of the historian's ethical responsibilities towards colleagues, research subjects, and the wider community
  • LO4. use appropriate media, tools, and methodologies to locate, access, and use information
  • LO5. demonstrate oral and written skills of communication
  • LO6. demonstrate an understanding of a period, place, or culture of the past
  • LO7. demonstrate an understanding of different approaches to interpreting the past
  • LO8. identify and interpret written, visual and material primary sources and secondary materials such as monographs, scholarly articles, websites and documentaries
  • LO9. examine historical issues by undertaking research that begins with a problem, establishes its historical context, and uses methodologies chosen from a range of disciplines to solve that problem
  • LO10. analyse historical evidence, scholarship and changing representations of the past, using the skills of sifting through information to weigh its significance and close reading of various texts
  • LO11. construct an evidence-based argument or narrative and present it in one of a variety of forms
  • LO12. work collaboratively with an external organisation and/or community.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered


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