Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Global connections have shaped human history and are important for understanding our globalised world. This unit explores the long-historical processes by which the world became increasingly interconnected. It will provide students with historical context for the important longstanding phenomenon of globalisation, and the complex networks of people and ideas that have driven global transformations. This prepares students to understand human convergence and interaction over time, and to investigate the major cultural, economic, environmental, political and social forces that have shaped our world.

The aim of this unit is to trace the history of the present era of globalisation by examining key historical examples including the interactions between colonial and Indigenous powers and the development of economic and trading relationships through areas such as Africa, Asia and Europe. It will give students an opportunity to use historical skills to analyse and critique local and international examples of global history.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Describe some of the major causes and consequences of human convergence and interaction over time (GA1, GA2, GA5)

LO2 - Communicate clearly in written and/or oral form (GA9)

LO3 - Use and appropriately reference a variety of primary and secondary sources relevant to the ‘long history’ of contemporary globalisation to develop an evidence-based historical narrative or argument (GA3, GA10)

LO4 - Apply critical reading skills to your understanding of the ‘long history’ of contemporary globalisation (GA4)

LO5 - Identify and reflect on key ethical and historical debates relating to real-world implications of human convergence, interaction and globalisation over time (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Where appropriate, topics examine issues derived from different historical and regional contexts on a selection of key themes in global history, including:  

  • Introducing global histories  
  • Nodes and modes of encounter 
  • Nationalism and the modern nation state 
  • Empires and colonisation  
  • Diaspora and migration 
  • Economy and trade  
  • War, genocide and violence 
  • The flow of ideologies 
  • Technology, environment and ecology 
  • Race, gender, religion and culture 
  • Global histories from below 
  • The limits of global histories 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments used in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. The learning and teaching and assessment strategies include a range of approaches to support student learning, chosen to complement the mode of delivery of the unit. These may include online modules, tutorials, (online) discussion and debate, reading, small group activities, reflection, film screenings, presentations, historical skills-building activities, and assignments. 

Active student participation is anticipated and encouraged in tutorials or in weekly online discussions. These activities are designed to provide students with a peer-to-peer learning environment in which they can discuss and debate issues and problems raised as students engage with unit content, set readings and their own reading. Students consolidate their understanding, knowledge, analytical and communication skills through negotiation and interaction with both other students and staff.

The unit is hosted on a Learning Management System (LMS) site with resources and online links, announcements, and a discussion board to post questions and reflections that promote connection between content and educational experiences.

Mode of delivery: This unit may be offered in different modes, as described below.

On Campus

Most learning activities or classes are delivered at a scheduled time, on campus, to enable in-person interactions. Activities will appear in a student’s timetable.


Learning activities are delivered through a planned mix of online and in-person classes, which may include full-day sessions, to enable interaction. Activities that require attendance will appear in a student’s timetable.

Online unscheduled

Learning activities are accessible anytime, anywhere. These units are normally delivered fully online and will not appear in a student’s timetable. 

Online scheduled

All learning activities are held online, at scheduled times, and will require some attendance to enable online interaction. Activities will appear in a student’s timetable.

ACU Online 

In ACU Online mode, this unit is delivered asynchronously, fully online using an active, guided learning approach Active learning opportunities provide students with opportunities to practice and apply their learning. Activities encourage students to bring their own examples to demonstrate understanding, application and engage constructively with their peers. Students receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements.  

The assessment tasks and their weighting for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. Students must obtain a pass mark or better overall from the combination of marks from the three assessment tasks in order to pass the unit. The tasks are linked in a developmentally progressive sequence with the later assessment tasks given more weighting than the earlier ones since students’ knowledge and understanding of the unit should increase over time and thus they should be better able to do well on the set task. The Reading-related Task will be an early, relatively lightly weighted assessment task to assess the student’s ability to identify and discuss ideas and content related to the opening weeks of the unit within specific readings. It is designed to be diagnostic (since this is an introductory unit) and formative. It will take place in the first half of the semester with feedback made available to students by, at the latest, the mid-teaching period. The Research Task requires students to identify relevant and suitable historical resources in response to a set question, and to apply analysis and discussion skills developed in the first assessment to construct an evidence-based historical argument or narrative. The Summative Task requires students to demonstrate knowledge of the unit as a whole, their ability to synthesise and apply that knowledge, and the acquisition of level-appropriate written communication and analysis skills. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Reading-related Task 

This task requires students to identify key knowledge and historical debates within set scholarly historical readings and communicate their findings. 


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA2, GA5, GA9

Research Task  

This task requires students to identify key resources related to a set topic and apply critical reading skills to construct an historical argument or narrative. The task also allows students to demonstrate their understanding of the issue, debate, site, or theme under discussion, and show they can clearly communicate their findings in written and/or oral form (as designated by the lecturer), incorporating some discipline terms. 


LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA9, GA10

Summative Task  

This task requires students to apply critical reading skills to reflect on the content of the course as a whole. 


The lecturer may designate this task to be in the form of short answer responses, test/s, take-home exam, exam, reflective essay/poster or simulation exercise. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Bently, J., Zeigler and H., Streets-Salter, Traditions and Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past6th edition. McGraw Hill Education: New York, 2015. 

Berg, M. Writing a History of the Global: Challenges for the 21st Century. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2013.  

Fernandez-Armesto, F. Pathfinders: A Global History: Six degrees of Separation of Exploration. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2006.

Finlay, R. and O’Rourke, K. H. Power and Plenty: Trade, War and the World Economy in the Second Millennium. Princeton UP: Princeton, NJ., 2007. 

Hobson, J. A. The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2004. 

Hunt, L.  Writing History in the Global Era. W.W. Norton: New York, 2015. 

Nester, D. Globalization: A Short History of the Modern World. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, 2010. 

Osterhammel, J. The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century. Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ, 2014. 

Stearns, P. Globalization in World History. 2nd edition. Routledge: London and New York, 2016. 

Sluga, G. Internationalism in the Age of Nationalism. of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia, 2013.  

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs