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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 modern history. Students investigate various aspects of the modern world, including people, ideas, movements, events and developments.

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

Year 11 course
(120 hours)

Modern History
Indicative hours

Investigating Modern History

  • The Nature of Modern History
  • Case Studies

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

60
Historical Investigation

20

The Shaping of the Modern World

40

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.

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

1. Investigating Modern History

  1. The Nature of Modern History
  2. Case Studies

Students undertake:

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

ONE case study must be from Europe, North America or Australia.
ONE case study must be from Asia, the Pacific, Africa, the Middle East or Central/South America.

The table in the 'Investigating Modern 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, individuals, groups, events or concepts in modern history. 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 historians investigate and construct the past, the types of questions they ask, the explanations they give and the issues they raise
  • question, analyse and interpret sources.

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 Modern History or History Extension courses.

2. 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 Modern History or History Extension courses.

3. The Shaping of the Modern World

Students investigate forces and ideas that shaped the modern world through a study of key events and developments and the meaning of modernity.

At least ONE study from ‘The Shaping of the Modern World’ is to be undertaken.

A range of possible studies is provided within ‘The Shaping of the Modern World’ section of this syllabus.

Studies must not overlap with or duplicate significantly any topic to be attempted in the Year 12 Modern 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 sources and relevant historiographical issues in the investigation of the modern world.

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

Year 12 course
(120 hours)

Modern History
Indicative hours
Core Study: Power and Authority in the Modern World 1919–1946 30
National Studies

30

Peace and Conflict

30

Change in the Modern World

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: Power and Authority in the Modern World 1919–1946
  2. ONE 'National Studies' topic
  3. ONE 'Peace and Conflict' topic
  4. ONE 'Change in the Modern World' topic.

Students are required to study at least ONE non-European/Western topic, selected from the following list: 

  Non-European/Western topics
Core Study: Power and Authority in the Modern World 1919–1946  
National Studies

China 1927–1949
India 1942–1984
Indonesia 1945–2005
Japan 1904–1937
Iran 1945–1989

Peace and Conflict

Conflict in Indochina 1954–1979
Conflict in the Pacific 1937–1951
Conflict in the Gulf 1980–2011
The Arab–Israeli Conflict 1948–1996

Change in the Modern World Pro-democracy Movement in Burma 1945–2010
The Cultural Revolution to Tiananmen Square 1966–1989
Apartheid in South Africa 1960–1994

Topics in the Year 12 course consist of two sections – ‘Survey’ and ‘Focus of study’. The following indicative 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)