USQ Logo
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

HIS3005 Europe: History of an Idea

Semester 1, 2020 Online
Short Description: Europe: History of an Idea
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


Examiner: Catherine Dewhirst


Pre-requisite: Any First Year History Course

Other requisites

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


The ‘idea’ of Europe was slow to emerge in early modern and modern European history. It is, however, a useful concept for exploring the rapid change facing the peoples of Europe and the way they responded to such change politically, socially and culturally. This course is punctuated by four major themes that interconnect in order to allow students to engage with the collective unifying and fragmenting natures of the history of Europe and Europeans.


This course engages with questions about the `idea' of Europe and Europeans. It introduces students to modern European history by examining some of the forces and trends that influenced developments between the Black Death (1348) and the rise of nationalism after the French Revolution of 1789 and through industrialisation. By focussing on significant turning-points and some of the colourful players in this historic age, students analyse features of political, social and cultural change. In particular, the course allows students to engage with critical issues to do with Europe's hegemonic transformations and responses to the ideas emerging over the period with an emphasis on primary source analysis. Content and assessment items in this course lead to an appreciation not only of the relevance of the rise of nation states, but also the significance of Enlightenment ideas for our current times.


On completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. identify and develop a critical awareness of the major events, forces and figures influencing political, social and cultural change in European history between the fourteenth and nineteenth centuries;
  2. engage critically with the significance of power, gender, class and/or racial paradigms as exemplified in specific European countries or regions throughout the period;
  3. participate in and contribute to group discussion in meaningful ways in tutorials and/or online;
  4. analyse critically and interpret both primary and secondary sources within the context of providing a coherent argument;
  5. demonstrate competency in written expression and scholarly research relevant to the discipline of history on selected topics.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Europe in transformation: introduction: the 'idea' of Europe; backdrop to the modern Age and interpreting the black death; Europe in Renaissance, the Medici of Florence and Niccolo Machiavelli 25.00
2. Europe divided: the Holy Roman Empire and Martin Luther’s Reformation; witchcraft persecution; the French Wars of Religion and the Thirty Years War 25.00
3. Foundations of the modern state: absolutism and the Sun King, Louis XIV, the French Enlightenment, Russia's Emergence and Catherine the Great 25.00
4. Revolution and nationalism: the French Revolution; Napoleon Bonaparte and his European Empire; the Industrial Revolution; the Concert of Europe and Prince von Metternich; Italy and the idea of Europe; course overview and exam review 25.00

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. (

Machiavelli, N 2012, The prince, T, Parks (trans) edn, Penguin Books, London.
Perry, J (ed) 2017, Sources for Europe in the Modern World, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

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.
Anderson, B 2006, Imagined communities: reflections on the origin, Revised edn, Verso, London & New York.
Barry, J, Hester, M & Roberts, G (eds) 1998, Witchcraft in early modern Europe: studies in culture and belief, Cambridge University Press, New York.
Delanty, G 1998, Inventing Europe: idea, identity, reality, Macmillan Press, Basingstoke, Hampshire.
Kates, G (ed.) 2006, The French Revolution: recent debates and new controversies, 2nd edn, Routledge, New York & London.
Merriman, J 2019, A history of Modern Europe: from the Renaissance to the present, 4th edn, W W Norton and Company, New York & London.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 40.00
Independent Study 125.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
DOCUMENT ANALYSIS 1000 WORDS 100 15 23 Mar 2020
CONTEXT ANALYSIS 1000 WORDS 100 15 20 Apr 2020
MAJOR ESSAY 2000 WORDS 100 40 18 May 2020
ONLINE EXAM 100 30 End S1 (see note 1)

  1. 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.

    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility 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 S1 2020 are: To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

    Requirements after S1, 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 S1 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 S1, 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 S1 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 S1, 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 S1 2020 are: The details regarding deferred/supplementary examinations will be communicated at a later date

    Requirements after S1, 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. 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 June 2020