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Major: Ancient History

Award(s) to which this major is a Qualifying Major:

Ancient History


Department of Ancient History
Faculty of Arts

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 8 units of study including the following prescribed units:

Units of study

two of
Ancient Greek A (1)
The Fall of the Roman Republic (1)
Latin A (1)
Myth in the Ancient World (1)
The Archaeology of Ancient Israel and the Near East (1)
Ancient Hebrew A (1)

Ancient History Capstone (1)
three of
From Constantine to Justinian: Church and State in Late Antiquity (1)
Prehistory to Pompeii: Archaeology in Ancient Italy (1)
Sparta and Greece: Archaic and Classical (1)
The Hellenistic Age (1)
The Roman Eastern Frontier (1)
Animals in the Ancient World (1)

two of
The Olympic Games, Ancient and Modern (1)
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1)
From Ur to Babylon: A History of Israel from Abraham to the Babylonian Exile (1)
Pagans, Jews and Christians: Athens and Jerusalem (1)
The Dead Sea Scrolls: Context and Content (1)
Art and Architecture Through Roman Eyes (1)


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Overview and Aims of the Program This major offers wide-ranging study of the history, society, religions, material culture and languages of the ancient world. A critical interdisciplinary approach integrates ancient
history subjects with the disciplines of archaeology, ancient languages, art history, epigraphy, papyrology and numismatics to provide the knowledge and skills required for subsequent learning and research at postgraduate level. The structure of the major is flexible to allow students to shape the major and tailor their studies to suit their personal interests. Students may enrol in the program in external mode only. Learning is enhanced by practical experience provided through digitally interactive artefact analysis, which complements theoretical training and utilises resources from the Macquarie Museum of Ancient Cultures. The major reflects the diversity of subject areas available in the Department of Ancient History, which covers the pre-, proto- and historic cultures of the ancient world.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. Demonstrate a broad and coherent body of knowledge, with depth in the underlying principles and concepts of branches of ancient world studies pertinent to ancient
History. [K, A]
2. Illustrate knowledge of historical developments, research principles and discipline specific methodologies relevant to ancient history in one or more of the disciplines: archaeology; art and architecture; epigraphy; language and literature; material culture; numismatics; and papyrology. [K]
3. Explain the principles and processes by which data from the ancient world is analysed, evaluated and interpreted. [K, T]
4. Illustrate awareness and respect for professional (academic), ethical and sustainability principles and values.
[E, A].

1. Conceptualize, apply, analyze, synthesize, and/or evaluate historical information and relevant theoretical concepts about ancient history gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication. [K, T]
2. Integrate knowledge and imagination (looking at ideas and concepts from meaningful original perspectives), and evaluation (employing critical thinking) as a foundation for developing creative learning behaviour. [K, T, I]
3. Present a clear, coherent, evidence based exposition of knowledge and ideas about ancient history in audio, digital, oral, visual and/or written form. [C]

1. Examine and critically evaluate historical data with initiative and judgement and illustrate
competency through devising and sustaining arguments and solving problems associated with the study of ancient history [K, J, P]
2. Independently design, execute and document a coherent research-based project. [P, J]
3. Engage with contemporary cultural perspectives and practices and contextualise historical knowledge (personalities, events, periods) and issues (ideologies, philosophies, traditions) according to intellectual and/or methodological and/or ethical conventions. [A, J, E]
Learning and Teaching Methods We expect our students to engage with learning and achieve the learning outcomes through:
• production of assessment tasks designed to develop and integrate knowledge and skills and
support their application [acquisition];
• independent and in-class practice to reinforce knowledge and skills [practice];
• teacher-led discussion of key historical features and themes pertaining to the study of ancient history [discussion];
• collaboration in group activities [collaboration];
• critical engagement with primary/secondary evidence and material culture (especially at
advanced levels) [production];
• inquiry within the research component of assessment tasks (especially at advanced levels) [inquiry]
Assessment This major offers the comprehensive study of the history, society, religions, material culture and languages of the ancient world from Predynastic Egypt (c. 3000 BCE) to the Near East, ancient Greece, Rome and Late Antiquity, including the origins of Christianity and Judaism (c. 600 CE). Students will study events and personalities and engage in a study of the cultural patterns and traditions that make up our modern understanding of the ancient world.

The methods used to assess the learning outcomes vary in some respects according to the special demands of individual units. The methods employed across the program (not at every level for every unit) may be summarised as follows:

• Tests on historical information assess foundational knowledge and skills;
• Formal tutorial preparation (incorporating directed discussion of questions set in an online forum) as well as individual and/or group presentations/discussions assess the integration of foundational knowledge and skills;
• Evidence-based analysis and essays (especially at the higher levels) test not only the integration of foundational knowledge and skills, but also foster the creative application of historical research skills, analysis and evaluation data from ancient cultures.
• Final examinations allow students to demonstrate their overall command of unit content.

Assessment tasks are carefully graduated to guide and focus engagement with the learning outcomes. Carefully scaffolded and sequenced assessment tasks are a feature (including low-risk activities, a quote of formal weighted tasks, and/or a final examination), encouraging
regular practice and reinforcement of knowledge and skills and their integrated application. Students can also closely monitor their own learning throughout the session and staff can identify and address potential learning difficulties. Modified development of content across
assessments is also important to this program’s methodology, with a view to systematic development of control over the learning outcomes.

The assessment regime is designed to account for both assessment of learning and assessment for learning.
• In-class or online quizzes periodically test student control over foundational knowledge and skills.
• Evidence-based oral and/or written exercises provide both a process by which students can learn to integrate the foundational knowledge and skills and an opportunity to assess their competency in this area.
• Textual, documentary and material analyses and essays continue to assess foundational knowledge and historical skills. They also require students to put these skills to new uses by formulating arguments and applying their communicative and analystical skills creatively in
a broader context.
• Final examinations provide a summative assessment of command over unit content.

This assessment regime encourages and rewards regular and systematic learning. Specific assessments also foster independent investigation, the development of research and critical thinking skills, and foster reflection on the significance of historical features and themes for the study of relevant ancient cultures. Regular practice and revision of knowledge and skills are crucial. The program deploys early low-risk assessments, major research-based assessments and final overview assessments.

Students need to be alert to the value of working regularly and systematically to gain maximum benefit from units (nine hours per week per unit, as per the University’s expectations). For staff the effective teaching of ancient world studies is inevitably labour-intensive. The program addresses this by mixing automated quizzes (where appropriate) with traditional marking practices. A central aim of this major is to harmonise excellence in learning and teaching with the balancing of workload pressures.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit.

Information can be found at:

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability The major endows our graduates with transferable knowledge and skills (i.e. research, communication skills, critical thinking) and enables them to pursue a career in education, tourism, media, and the library sector and/or prepares students for further study in ancient history and related fields.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2019 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148