HIST450-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023

History as a Discipline

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


This course traces the development of the discipline of history; it examines the principal modern approaches to the study of the past; it makes explicit the methodological principles which underlie historical research and writing; and it encourages reflection on controversial matters concerning truth, objectivity, bias, values and cross-cultural understanding.

HIST450 aims to equip students with the intellectual toolkit they need to be competent historians. It is a foundation course for students completing a HIST480 research paper as part of their Honours degree and/or a HIST660 dissertation as part of a taught masters. It is essential training for those who plan to go on to research degrees. More generally, it seeks to develop high-level transferable analytical skills and group work skills that enhance overall employability.

The course offers an overview of the development of the discipline of History and outlines current and emerging approaches to its study. It focuses on the development of History as a professional discipline in universities from the nineteenth century up to the present day. The course has a methodological and reflective focus, and will sometimes venture into the philosophy of history. It encourages candidates to engage with and explore different approaches to History as a discipline, to consider the possibilities and limitations of these approaches, and to reflect on the relationship between historiographical developments and their own research.

Learning Outcomes

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Subject to approval of the Head of Department.



Equivalent Courses


Timetable 2023

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 16:00 - 18:00 Karl Popper 612 20 Feb - 2 Apr
24 Apr - 4 Jun
Workshop A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 12:00 - 13:00 Elsie Locke 611 Meeting Room 20 Feb - 2 Apr
24 Apr - 4 Jun
Workshop B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 13:00 - 14:00 Rehua 528 20 Feb - 2 Apr
24 Apr - 4 Jun
02 Thursday 13:00 - 14:00 Online Delivery 20 Feb - 2 Apr
24 Apr - 4 Jun


Please check the course Learn page for further details and updates.

Textbooks / Resources

Modern Historiography: An Introduction
by Bentley, Michael

(Image: Copyright Chris Jones “The Morgan Library, New York City, New York)

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,990.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All HIST450 Occurrences

  • HIST450-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023