The study of VCE History assists students to understand themselves, others and their world, and broadens their perspective by examining people, groups, events, ideas and movements. Through studying VCE History, students develop a social, political, economic and cultural understanding of significant events, social and cultural movements, and revolutions. They also explore the historical thinking concepts of continuity and change, cause and consequence and significance. As we can never know the whole past, historical knowledge rests on the interpretation of sources that are used as evidence and students will analyse different perspectives and interpretations of the past. The study of history fosters the ability to think and read critically and empathetically, to ask searching questions, to engage in independent research, and to construct arguments about the past based on evidence.

Students who choose Twentieth Century History Units 1 and 2 will develop skills and knowledge applicable to both Revolutions Units 3 and 4 and Global Politics Units 3 and 4. The skills and understanding that students develop when studying senior History are not confined to the study of the past as the critical thinking skills, analytical skills and increased social and cultural awareness are invaluable to tertiary education, many careers and to decision-making in the present.

Unit 1: Semester 1

Twentieth Century History (1918 – 1939)

World War 1 is regarded by many as marking the beginning of twentieth century history since it represented such a complete departure from the past and heralded changes that were to have an impact for decades to come. The post-war treaties ushered in a period where the world was reshaped with new borders, movements, ideologies and power structures. The period after World War 1 was characterised by significant social and cultural change in the contrasting decades of the 1920s and 1930s. New fascist governments used the military, education and propaganda to impose controls on the way people lived; to exclude particular groups of people and to silence criticism. Our study will focus on these topics as well as Germany during the Weimar Republic and the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. Students will analyse the nature of the state Hitler created and of the new society he aimed to introduce. Additionally, students will identify and analyse the causes of WWII. Having studied WWII in Year 10, Unit 1 will consolidate and extend students’ prior learning.

1. Primary Source Analysis (30%)
2. Coursework (30%)
3. Examination (40%)

Unit 2: Semester 2

Twentieth Century History (1945 – 2000) 

In Unit 2 students explore the nature and impact of the Cold War and challenges and changes to existing political, economic and social arrangements in the second half of the twentieth century. The establishment of the United Nations in 1945 was intended to take an internationalist approach to avoiding warfare, resolving political tensions and addressing threats to human life and safety. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 was the first global expression of human rights. Despite internationalist moves, the second half of the twentieth century was dominated by the competing ideologies of democracy and communism, setting the backdrop for the Cold War. The period also saw challenges and change to establish order in many countries. The continuation of moves towards decolonisation led to independence movements in former colonies in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific. New countries were created and independence was achieved through both military and diplomatic means. Old conflicts also continued and terrorism became increasingly global. 

1. Analytical Essay/Tasks (40%)
2. Coursework (30%)
3. Examination (30%)

Unit 3 and 4: Semester 1 and 2


Revolutions represent great ruptures in time and are a major turning point which results in the collapse and destruction of an existing political order and a pervasive change to society. Students will investigate the significant historical causes and consequences of two political revolutions. Revolutions are caused by an interplay of ideas, events, individuals and popular movements and the consequences have a profound effect on the political and social structures of the post-revolutionary society. Progress is not guaranteed or inevitable and students will study the internal and foreign threats to the new regimes. Students will study two revolutions from the following options: the American Revolution of 1776, the French Revolution of 1789, the Russian Revolution of October 1917.

In both units students will develop an understanding of the complexity and multiplicity of causes and consequences in the revolutionary narrative. They will learn to ask historical questions and construct arguments using primary sources and historical interpretations as evidence. They will compare a range of historical perspectives and evaluate historical interpretations about the significant causes and consequences of a revolution and will consider the extent to which revolution brought change to the lives of people.

1. Coursework – Unit 3 (25%)
2. Coursework – Unit 4 (25%)
3. Examination (50%)



Group 3 - History
Year 11 and 12 - IB

Global Politics
Year 12 - VCE

Classical Studies
Year 11 and 12 - VCE

History (Australian Curriculum)
Timbertop - Year 9

Middle School - Years 5 to 8