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Europe: From Black Death to New Worlds (HIST10016)

Undergraduate level 1Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 1
Subject codeHIST10016
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

The fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries were a period of seminal transformation in the politics, beliefs, social structures and global views of those in the western world. Traumatized by the deaths of 25 million people from plague, the period witnessed endemic warfare, as well as rifts in the Catholic Church which culminated in the reformations of the sixteenth century. The period also saw the persecution of thousands of Jews, the intrusion of the Inquisition into people’s daily lives, and accusations of witchcraft. The New World of the Americas and the rounding of the Cape of Good Hope changed how Europeans saw themselves and other peoples, triggering a global era of mercantile and cultural contact. Politics and governance were transformed and the beginnings of nation states were reinforced by courtly rituals and splendor. Trade and resulting wealth created new patrons and saw the funding of unparalleled creative and artistic endeavours. The rise of the printing press facilitated the rapid spread of new ideas and the emergence of new voices from all social levels, women as well as men. Whether characterized as medieval, renaissance or reformation, this was a period of intense transformation, which laid the foundations for our modern world.

This subject forms part of the pathway ‘social and cultural history’ within the History major.

Intended learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • Reflect critically on the complexities of periodization in History;
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the major social, political, and cultural developments of Europe in the period 1348-1618;
  • Demonstrate an ability to analyse primary and secondary material in writing about the past;
  • Develop critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing, and tutorial discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument;
  • Demonstrate skills in public presentations, and confidence in self expression through tutorial presentations, essays, and online forums.

Generic skills

  • Use of online and text-based sources;
  • Critical analysis of texts, images, and objects;
  • Ability to speak and write with precision and clarity;
  • Development of academic referencing and integrity.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • A 800-word primary source analysis (20%), Due mid semester
  • A 1,200-word tutorial journal (30%), Due during the semester
  • A 2,000-word essay (50%), Due during the examination period

Hurdle requirements: Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject. Regular participation in tutorials is required.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. After five days late assessment will not be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    CoordinatorCatherine Kovesi
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours36 hours – 24 x 1 hour lectures and 11 x one hour tutorials and 1 x one hour online tutorial.
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period 4 March 2019 to 2 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date15 March 2019
    Census date31 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail10 May 2019
    Assessment period ends28 June 2019

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    A subject reader will be provided.

  • Breadth options
  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 4 October 2019