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HIS2103 World History Since 1500 CE

Semester 2, 2020 On-campus Springfield
Short Description: World History Since 1500 CE
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 090305 - History
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 19 September 2020


Examiner: Catherine Dewhirst

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


In a world of rapid change and narrow specialisation it is useful to develop a long-term perspective on the course of human history on the world as a whole, rather than on a regional or national scale. This survey course, introduces students to the early modern and modern phases of the history of globalisation. It encompasses a series of developments as people, communities, states and cultures became increasingly interconnected by varying degrees and at differing paces. In additional to such links, there is a focus on the movement of people, ideas, commodities and disease, and on the role of technology in the distribution of power and wealth across the globe.


This course engages with key developments in world history from 1492 to 1914. It focusses especially on the rise of European empires and their interaction with Asian, American and African regions of the world from the world explorations to World War I. Specific events and case studies are discussed for their global significance with an emphasis on cultural exchange, political change, unfree labour, women, and industrialisation. Students follow the decline and rise of different powers with significant questions posed about why the empires of China and the Ottomans failed to keep pace with the West. Students in this course engage with the phases of globalisation from a world history approach, as well as world-systems theory and international relations. The course is part of the History major, can be taken as a stand-alone course or a general elective, and is particularly suited to Education students.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. conceptualise and use the essential terminology of socio-historical analysis in a global context;
  2. articulate an informed and critical awareness of the main events, places and people in the development of world history in the defined period;
  3. communicate and analyse critically the broad parameters of the interaction of the major empires and states in the defined period in an effective manner verbally and/or online;
  4. demonstrate competency in writing skills, bibliography, and documentation in the History discipline.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction: World history’s four phases of globalisation, world-systems theory, basic concepts in international relations, the World in 1492 12.00
2. The emergence of global interrelations 1500-1600: the Ottoman and Safavid Empires, the European Renaissance, the making of the Atlantic and Indian Oceanic Worlds and the African slave trade, the Moghul Dynasty, the Ming and Manchu dynasties, the Japanese feudal state 32.00
3. The West 1600-1780: Western European politics, Absolutism and Constitutionalism, the Enlightenment, Eastern Europe and Enlightened Despotism, Latin America, British North America and independence movements 16.00
4. The modernisation of the Western World, 1780-1848: American War of Independence, French Revolution, Haitian Revolution and Latin American wars of independence, the Napoleonic era, Industrial Revolution and nationalism and conflict in the West, western cultural and intellectual trends 16.00
5. The race for Empire: Western imperialism and the Scramble for Africa, migration and settler societies, Western Imperialism in Middle East and Asia, new world powers of Japan and USA, causes of World War I 24.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Hopkins, AG (ed) 2002, Globalization in world history, Pimlico, London.
Stearns, PN, Gosch, SS, Grieshaber, EP and Scardino Belzer, A (eds) 2012, Documents in world history, volume 2, 6th edn, Pearson Education, New York.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Bayly, CA 2004, The birth of the modern world, 1750-1914: global connections and comparisons, Blackwell, Oxford.
Goucher, CL, LeGuin, CA & Walton, LA 1998, In the balance: themes in global history, McGraw Hill, Boston.
McNeill, W 1999, A world history, 4th edn, Oxford University Press, New York.
Reilly, K 2016, Worlds of history: a comparative reader since 1400, Vol 2, 6th edn, Bedford/St Martin's, Boston.
Upshur, JHL, Terry, J, Holoka, J, Goff, R, Cassar, G 2005, World history since 1500: the age of global integration, Vol 2, 4th edn, West/Wadsworth, Belmont, CA.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 41.00
Independent Study 124.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
DOC ANALYSIS 1500 WORDS 100 15 10 Aug 2020 (see note 1)
LIBRARY RESEARCH 100 10 03 Sep 2020
MAJOR ESSAY 2000 WORDS 100 35 06 Oct 2020
ONLINE EXAM 100 40 End S2 (see note 2)

  1. Documentary Analyses are due two weeks after scheduled class discussion of the relevant topic. However, students are advised to select a document from topics by the end of week 1 at the latest.
  2. This will be an online exam. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the Alternate Assessment Schedule has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

    It is the students’ responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are: To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

    Requirements after S2, 2020:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are: To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

    Requirements after S2, 2020:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are: An Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

    Requirements after S2, 2020:
    Candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the Closed examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are: The details regarding deferred/supplementary examinations will be communicated at a later date.

    Requirements after S2, 2020:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Other requirements

  1. 1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.

Date printed 19 September 2020