Stage 2 | Subject outline | Version control

Modern History Stage 2
Subject outline

Version 4.0 - For teaching in 2024.
Accredited in July 2017 for teaching at Stage 2 from 2018. 

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Subject description

Subject description

Modern History is a 10-credit subject or a 20-credit subject at Stage 1 and a 20-credit subject at Stage 2.

In the study of Modern History at Stage 1, students explore changes within the world since 1750, examining developments and movements, the ideas that inspired them, and their short‑term and long‑term consequences for societies, systems, and individuals.

Students explore the impacts of these developments and movements on people’s ideas, perspectives, circumstances, and lives. They investigate ways in which people, groups, and institutions challenge political structures, social organisation, and economic models to transform societies.

The developments and movements have been subject to political debate. Students consider the dynamic processes of imperialism, revolution, and decolonisation, and how these have reconfigured political, economic, social, and cultural systems. Students also look at how recognition of the rights of individuals and societies has created challenges and responses.

In the study of Modern History at Stage 2, students investigate the growth of modern nations at a time of rapid global change. They engage in a study of one nation, and of interactions between or among nations.

In their study of one nation, students investigate the social, political, and economic changes that shaped the development of that nation. They develop insights into the characteristics of a modern nation, and the crises and challenges that have confronted it. Students also consider the ways in which the nation has dealt with internal divisions and external challenges, and the paths that it has taken.

At Stage 2, students explore relationships among nations and groups, examine some significant and distinctive features of the world since 1945, and consider their impact on the contemporary world.

Students investigate the political and economic interactions of nations and the impact of these interactions on national, regional, and/or international development. They consider how some nations, including some emerging nations, have sought to impose their influence and power, and how others have sought to forge their own destiny.

Through their studies, students build their skills in historical method through inquiry, by examining and evaluating the nature of sources. This includes who wrote or recorded them, whose history they tell, whose stories are not included and why, and how technology is creating new ways in which histories can be conveyed. Students explore different interpretations, draw conclusions, and develop reasoned historical arguments.