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NSW Syllabuses

Course structure and requirements

Year 11 Course Structure and Requirements

The Year 11 course is structured to provide students with opportunities to develop and apply their understanding of methods and issues involved in the investigation of the ancient past. Through the use of archaeological and written sources, students investigate various aspects of the ancient world, including historical sites, people, societies, events and developments.

The course comprises three sections. Students are required to study all three sections of the course.

Year 11 course
(120 hours)

Ancient History
Indicative hours

Investigating Ancient History

  • The Nature of Ancient History
  • Case Studies

 Each case study should be a minimum of 10 indicative hours.

60
Features of Ancient Societies

40

Historical Investigation

20

Historical concepts and skills

The Historical concepts and skills content is to be integrated throughout the course. The various studies and topics provide the contexts through which concepts and skills are to be developed. These provide the means by which students are able to engage in historical analysis and argument.

Studies undertaken in the Year 11 course should be selected from a range of societies.

Content may be integrated across the three sections of the course in the development of a teaching and learning program.

1. Investigating Ancient History

  1. The Nature of Ancient History
  2. Case Studies

Students undertake:

  • at least ONE option from 'The Nature of Ancient History', AND
  • at least TWO case studies.

ONE case study must be from Egypt, Greece, Rome or Celtic Europe.

ONE case study must be from Australia, Asia, the Near East or the Americas.

The table in the 'Investigating Ancient History – Case Studies' section of this syllabus provides case study options teachers may use.

Teachers may develop their own case studies.

Case studies are inquiry-based investigations into historical features, people, places, events and developments of the ancient world. They are oriented towards the problems and issues of investigating the past.

Case studies in the Year 11 course are intended to provide students with opportunities to:

  • study the various ways in which historians and archaeologists investigate and construct the past: the types of questions they ask, the explanations they give and the issues they raise
  • question, analyse and interpret archaeological and written sources
  • generate hypotheses and weigh up contemporary theories and explanations on the basis of the available evidence.

 Case studies can provide an historical context within which students learn about relevant methods and issues.

Case studies must not overlap with or duplicate significantly any topic to be attempted in the Year 12 Ancient History or History Extension courses.

2. Features of Ancient Societies

Students study at least TWO ancient societies through an investigation of:

  • a different key feature for each society, OR
  • one key feature across the societies selected. 

A range of possible studies is provided within the 'Features of Ancient Societies' section of this syllabus. 

Studies of features of ancient societies are concerned with seeking explanations to the 'how' and 'why' questions of history: how people lived in the past, why they may have lived that way, and how and why their life circumstances changed. These studies provide students with opportunities to develop an understanding of:

  • the social history of a people through an investigation of the remains of their material culture
  • the key developments and forces that may have shaped the selected feature(s)
  • the nature of the available sources. 

Studies must not overlap with or duplicate significantly any topic to be attempted in the Year 12 Ancient History or History Extension courses.

3. Historical Investigation

The historical investigation is designed to further develop relevant investigative, research and presentation skills. The investigation should extend a particular area of individual student or group interest. The investigation may be undertaken as a standalone study or integrated into any aspect of the Year 11 course and need not be completed as one project. It may be conducted individually or collaboratively. 

Further information about the investigation is provided within the 'Historical Investigation' section of this syllabus. 

The investigation must not overlap with or duplicate significantly any topic to be attempted in the Year 12 Ancient History or History Extension courses. 

Year 12 Course Structure and Requirements

The Year 12 course is structured to provide students with opportunities to apply their understanding of archaeological and written sources and relevant historiographical issues in the investigation of the ancient past.

The course comprises four sections. Students are required to study all four sections of the course.

Year 12 course
(120 hours)

Ancient History
Indicative hours
Core Study: Cities of Vesuvius – Pompeii and Herculaneum 30
Ancient Societies

30

Personalities in their Times

30

Historical Periods

30

Historical concepts and skills

The Historical concepts and skills content is to be integrated throughout the course. The topics provide the contexts through which concepts and skills are to be developed. These provide the means by which students are able to engage in historical analysis and argument.

The course comprises a study of:

  1. Core Study: Cities of Vesuvius – Pompeii and Herculaneum
  2. ONE 'Ancient Societies' topic      
  3. ONE 'Personalities in their Times' topic                
  4. ONE 'Historical Periods' topic.

The course requires study from at least TWO of the following areas:

  • Egypt
  • Near East
  • China
  • Greece
  • Rome.

The core study, Cities of Vesuvius – Pompeii and Herculaneum, is a Roman study.

Topics in the Year 12 course consist of two sections – 'Survey' and 'Focus of study'. The following time allocations provide guidance to teachers about the depth of study for each section:

  • Survey (a maximum of 3 hours)
  • Focus of study (a minimum of 27 hours).