School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations



Please note: Information on this page relates to the 2016 academic year unless otherwise specified.

On this page:

This subject is taught by the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations.


History has been taught at Victoria since 1899 when the University was founded. It is an intellectual discipline which requires the rigour of a scientist, the persistence of a detective and the imagination of a novelist.

Historical study seeks to understand the whys and wherefores of the past and unravel its mysteries.

It is a subject which offers numerous areas of specialisation—on particular regions, time periods or themes such as the history of work, ideas of race or nationalism—and one which generates enthusiasm and commitment from both staff and students.

By introducing us to cultures distant from our own in time and space, historical study broadens our general cultural knowledge, reminds us that our own cultural values are historically constructed, and teaches us about the development of human societies.

History courses complement a wide range of subjects in the Bachelor of Arts (BA), adding strength and depth to your degree.

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Undergraduate information

History major requirements

  1. 40 points from HIST 100–199, CLAS 104, 105
  2. 40 points from HIST 200–299, CLAS 207, 208
  3. 60 points from HIST 300–399, CLAS 307, 308
  4. At least 100 of the above points must be from HIST 100–399, of which at least 40 points must be from HIST 300–399

Course planning

The 100-level courses are seen as the foundation of all further work in History and a pass in two of these (or in CLAS 104, CLAS 105) is the prerequisite for admission to 200-level courses.

The courses offered are planned to provide a good introduction to further historical study.

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Postgraduate information

Postgraduate Qualifications in History

For information specific to History, please see our Postgraduate Study page. For information about the postgraduate qualifications, please click on the Faculty links below.

To find out more about entry requirements to Postgraduate degrees, contact the Postgraduate Coordinator or see our Postgraduate Study page.

See what our current postgraduate students have to say about studying History at Victoria.

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How to find out more

Want to find out more about studying at Victoria? Register now to find out more about your study options and keep updated on application and enrolment information, open days and events.

If you need help deciding what degree might be right for you, or what courses to take, talk with a liaison officer or book a course planning session with us, call 0800 VICTORIA (842 867) or email

If you’re a returning or transferring student, contact the Faculty Student and Academic Services Office, for help with degree planning and for information on admission requirements and transfer credit from other institutions.

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List of courses

History courses are taught within the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations. The School office is located on Level 4, Old Kirk Building, Kelburn campus.

Meet staff who teach in the History Programme, or contact the School for more information, email:

For a complete course listing, see the list of all History courses.

100 Level Courses

CLAS 104 – The Greeks

CLAS 105 – Roman History and Society

FHSS 103 – Great Ideas

FHSS 104 – Special Topic: Historical Wrongs and Human Rights

HIST 111 – Colonial Encounters: Pacific Experiences

HIST 112 – New Histories in New Zealand-Aotearoa

HIST 117 – Revolutions, Empires and Peoples

HIST 118 – Making Europe Modern: Citizens, States and Nations

HIST 120 – Global History: Commodities and Ideologies

200 Level Courses

CLAS 207 – Roman Social History

CLAS 208 – Greek Social History

FHSS 203 – Special Topic: Arabs, Persians, Turks: The Modern Middle East

HIST 201 – Medieval and Early Modern Europe, 1000-1650

HIST 202 – Radicals and Revolutionaries in Britain

HIST 203 – Māori Historical Methods: Whakapapa, Mōteatea, Manuscripts & Treaty Settlements

HIST 215 – Creating the United States, 1776-1890

HIST 217 – The United States and Global Power, 1890-2010

HIST 219 – Pacific History

HIST 222 – Australian History

HIST 227 – Maori and Pakeha in the Nineteenth-Century World

HIST 228 – Special Topic: Histories of Modern India

HIST 230 – Gandhi, India and the World

HIST 231 – Changing China: Protest, Rebellions and Revolutions in Modern China, 1800s to the Present

HIST 232 – The Worlds of Christopher Columbus

HIST 234 – Special Topic: Histories of the Modern Middle East

HIST 235 – Special Topic: Mobilising the Masses: Propaganda in Europe in the Age of Catastrophe, 1914-1945

HIST 236 – Race and Racism in Modern European History

HIST 238 – From Facism to Forza Italia: A Cultural History of Italy, 1922-2000

HIST 245 – Peoples of the Soviet Empire

HIST 248 – History of the German-Speaking Peoples

HIST 249 – New Zealand Political History

HIST 250 – The Terrible Wonder of Modernity: The World Re-made, c.1880s-1930s

300 Level Courses

CLAS 307 – Roman Social History

CLAS 308 – Greek Social History

FHSS 303 – Special Topic: Arabs, Persians, Turks: The Modern Middle East

HIST 301 – Early Modern Science: Possessing Nature's Secrets

HIST 302 – Contesting Colonialism: The British Empire and the Settler Colonies

HIST 310 – Special Topic: The End of the British Empire: Decolonisation and its Anxieties

HIST 312 – Working Lives in New Zealand

HIST 315 – Media and the Modern USA: From Watergate to Obama Nation

HIST 316 – New Zealand Social History

HIST 317 – New Zealand History

HIST 318 – Special Topic: Histories of the Modern Middle East

HIST 321 – International History: The Cold War World, 1945-1991

HIST 323 – Nga Tuhinga a Nga Tupuna: Maori Text and Context in the 19th Century World

HIST 327 – Special Topic: Nationalist Peacemakers, 1917 - 1924

HIST 329 – Special Topic

HIST 331 – The Transatlantic Slave Trade

HIST 332 – The Holocaust and Genocide

HIST 334 – World War One: Social and Cultural Perspectives on 1914 - 1918

HIST 336 – The Pacific Islands after 1945

HIST 337 – Wild China, People's China: Environment and Society in Chinese History

HIST 338 – Prelude to Peace: Displaced Persons and Refugees in Post-War Europe

HIST 339 – History on Film/Film on History

400 Level Courses

HIST 403 – A Topic in Pacific History: Colonial Power and Pacific Resistance 1800-1946

HIST 404 – A Topic in the History of the United States

HIST 407 – A Topic in European History 1: Magic, Witchcraft, Religion and Science in Early Modern Europe

HIST 412 – A Topic in the History of Sport: Studies in the History of Sport and Spectatorship

HIST 415 – A Topic in Chinese History: China and Democracy

HIST 419 – A Topic in Historiography and Historical Method 1: History and Theory

HIST 420 – A Topic in the History of Race Relations in New Zealand: Contexts of the Treaty

HIST 421 – A Topic in European History 2: The European Outreach into the Atlantic

HIST 422 – A Topic in New Zealand History 1: In Their Place: Perspectives on People and Land

HIST 423 – A Topic in Historiography and Historical Method 2: Film and History

HIST 425 – A Topic in European History 3: A Usable Past: Normalising the extreme in postwar Germany

HIST 427 – A Topic in New Zealand History 2: Empire and Desire: Gender and Imperialism, c.1780-1920

HIST 428 – Special Topic: Class in History

HIST 448 – National Awakening in Eastern Europe

HIST 489 – Research Project