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HIS3002 The Twentieth Century

Semester 2, 2021 Online
Short Description: The Twentieth Century
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
ASCED code : 090305 - History
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Jayne Persian


Pre-requisite: Any two courses of History or International Relations

Other Requisites

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


The twentieth century is central to students who wish to understand history, international relations and the contemporary world. The recent global past is also a notable content area in schools’ Modern History syllabus, and the course is therefore crucial for intending secondary teachers. Beyond content-specific knowledge, the course will provide students with advanced skills in critical thinking, enabling future research and life-long learning.


This subject will focus on the only total war of the twentieth century and will explore questions about the causes of armed conflict, the nature of total war, and some of the consequences (social, economic, cultural and political) of total war for modern European, Asian and global history. Students examine topics such as: the situation of Europe and Japan after World War One; the rise of fascism in Italy and Germany; interwar diplomacy and its failure to preserve peace; the origins of World War Two in Asia and Europe; the barbarism of warfare; the Holocaust; and the legacy of total war, including the development of international human rights legislation and the Cold War.


On completion of this course students should have:

  1. Identify the principal figures and significant events of World War Two;
  2. Describe the concept of total war and examine its impact on politics, society, economics and culture;
  3. Identify some of the historiographical arguments on topics related to World War Two and the practice of total war;
  4. Analyse primary and secondary sources in constructing historiographical arguments;
  5. Apply research skills using printed and electronic sources in preparation of a critical secondary source analysis;
  6. Apply skills of critical thinking through group discussion of subject readings and preparation of written assessment.


Description Weighting(%)
1. The Nineteenth Century 8.37
2. The First World War 8.33
3. Interwar 8.33
4. Origins of World War Two 8.33
5. War: 1939-1941 8.33
6. Total War: 1942-1945 8.33
7. The Holocaust 8.33
8. The Pacific War: 1942-1945 8.33
9. Atomic Warfare 8.33
10. A New International Order: The Soviet Bloc & the United Nations 8.33
11. Asia: Decolonisation 8.33
12. The Cold War 8.33

Text and Materials

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. (

Evan Mawdsley & John Robert Ferris 2015, The Cambridge History of the Second World War, Vol. 1, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
(Available online via the USQ Library.)
Richard Bosworth & Joseph Maiolo 2015, The Cambridge History of the Second World War, Vol. 2, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
(Available online via the USQ Library.)

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.
Bartov, Omer 2000, The Holocaust: Origins, Implementation, Aftermath, Routledge, Abingdon, UK.
Duus, Peter & Marius Jansen, 1988, The Cambridge History of Japan: The Twentieth Century, Vol. 6, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
(Available online via USQ Library.)
Gilbert, Martin, 2014, The Second World War: A Complete History, Rosetta Books, New York.
(Available online via USQ Library.)
Hobsbawm, E. J 1994, The Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991, Michael Joseph, London.
Hobsbawm, E. J 2012, Nations and Nationalism since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality, Canto Classics, Cambridge, UK.
(Available online via USQ Library.)
Leffler, Melvyn P. & Westad, Odd Arne, 2010, The Cambridge History of the Cold War, Volumes 1-3, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
(Available online via USQ Library..)

Student Workload Expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 39.00
Independent Study 126.00

Assessment Details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ONLINE QUIZZES 100 20 16 Jul 2021 (see note 1)
LITERATURE REVIEW 1000 WORDS 100 20 16 Aug 2021
RESEARCH ESSAY 2000 WORDS 100 40 28 Sep 2021
ONLINE FORUMS 100 20 22 Oct 2021 (see note 2)

  1. The two online quizzes should be taken by the student on completion of weeks 4 and 10.
  2. Ten (10) of the weekly online forum questions must be answered.

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.

    External and Online:
    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.

    It is the students’ responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and 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:
    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:
    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:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  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 8 November 2021