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NSW Syllabuses

Course structure and requirements

Year 12 course
(60 hours)

History Extension Indicative hours

Constructing History

  • Key Questions
  • Case Studies
History Project


Year 11 Ancient History or Modern History is a prerequisite for entry into Year 12 History Extension.
Year 12 Ancient History or Modern History is a co-requisite for Year 12 History Extension.

Constructing History – Key Questions

Four key questions provide a framework for investigating the construction of history with a focus on historiography. Students engage in the complex and intellectually demanding study of History Extension by applying significant historiographical ideas and methodologies, which have evolved over time, to the investigation of these key questions:

  • Who are historians?
  • What are the purposes of history?
  • How has history been constructed, recorded and presented over time?
  • Why have approaches to history changed over time?

Constructing History – Case Studies

Students develop their understanding of significant historiographical ideas and methodologies by exploring ONE case study, with reference to THREE identified areas of debate and the key questions above. The case study provides for an examination of historiography within a specific historical context.

History Project

Students will undertake an individual investigative project, focusing on an area of changing historical interpretation.

1. Designing an Investigation

The topic should be developed from one or more of the following areas:

  • changing interpretations of an historical debate or controversy
  • a critical analysis of an historian’s or archaeologist’s work
  • changing analysis of an archaeological site over time
  • contrasting approaches to an historical personality, issue or event
  • museums as history
  • history in the media and different forms of historical communication – for example film, documentary, fiction, docudrama
  • an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the history of a personality, issue or event
  • oral history
  • historical biography
  • local history
  • critical analysis of a major historical work
  • the use and misuse of history in either a specific context or over time.

The topic of the project should reflect an area of student interest; however, the topic:

  • must focus on the fundamental historiographical concepts and issues of History Extension and should allow students to address some of the key questions
  • may be developed from a case study but must cover substantially different ground
  • must not overlap significantly with the examinable content of any Stage 6 course.

2. Documenting the Project

The History Project should be a product of the student’s own work. It should be a piece of work that is free of plagiarism. Plagiarism may be broadly defined as presenting as one’s own, the thoughts, writings or inventions of another. While students may draw on the assistance of other people in developing the project, care must be taken to avoid practices that may be the subject of claims of academic misconduct, including plagiarism.

Students in their process log should keep a record of:

  • the proposal for the investigation
  • an explanation of their topic choice
  • sequentially dated records or digital recordings of the inquiry process
  • dated notes/digital audio files and progressive drafts of work
  • all sources used in preliminary notes and drafts
  • teacher feedback.

Teachers are required to monitor the process log at regular intervals and sign/initial and date any comments.

The Proposal

The proposal should include:

  • description of preliminary research
  • a focus question
  • inquiry questions
  • research intentions in relation to
    • areas/texts to examine
    • methodology.

The Essay

The essay should include:

  • an argument in response to a focus question with evidence in support, the sources of which are acknowledged. It will be in written form and may be accompanied by appropriate graphic texts only as appendices (apart from short explanatory captions). The essay must not exceed 2500 words. The essay should contain material from a range of perspectives, including the student’s own views. A consistent system of referencing should be used to acknowledge the use of sources.

The Bibliography

The bibliography should include:

  • a consistently formatted alphabetical list of all sources used within the project.

The Annotated Sources

The annotated sources should:

  • be selected for their value to the History Project
  • not exceed 600 words in total
  • explain the strengths and weaknesses of each source, considering their usefulness and reliability for the question(s) asked and the reasons for their value to the project and the central argument of the essay.

The Process Log

The process log should include:

  • an explanation of the topic choice
  • a description of procedures
  • a log of sequential development of the topic
  • a record of major decisions of the project
  • reviews of cumulative self, peer and teacher evaluation of the project, and record of interviews
  • draft responses.

All My Own Work

The History Project must adhere to the principles and practices of good scholarship, as identified in the HSC: All My Own Work program.