There are no prerequisites for entry to Unit 1, 2 and 3. Students must undertake Unit 3 prior to undertaking Unit 4.

History involves inquiry into human action in the past, to make meaning of the past using primary sources as evidence. As historians ask new questions, revise interpretations or discover new sources, fresh understandings come to light.

Although history deals with the particular – specific individuals and key events – the potential scope of historical inquiry is vast and formed by the questions that historians pursue, the availability of sources and the capacity of historians to interpret those sources. VCE History reflects this range of inquiry by enabling students to engage with a range of times, people, places and ideas.

Unit 1 Twentieth Century History 1918-1939

The period after World War One was characterised by significant change in the contrasting decades of the 1920s and 1930s. New fascist governments used the military and propaganda to impose controls on the way people lived, to exclude particular groups of people and to silence criticism. In Germany, the persecution of the Jewish people became intensified. In the USSR, millions of people were forced to work in state-owned factories and farms and had limited personal freedom. Japan became increasingly militarised and anti-western. In the USA, the consumerism and material progress of the 1920s was tempered by the Great Crash of 1929. Writers, artists, musicians, choreographers and filmmakers reflected, promoted or resisted political, economic and social changes.

 Topics studied include:

  • the effects of World War 1
  • The Russian Revolution
  • Rights and Responsibilities: political and economic privileges
  • Peaks and Troughs: the roaring twenties and depression in America
  • Conflict and the causes of World War Two including Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist (Nazi) Party gaining power in Germany


  1. On completion of this unit the student should be able to explain the consequences of the peace treaties which ended World War One, the impact of ideologies on nations and the events that led to World War Two.
  2. On completion of this unit the student should be able to explain patterns of social life and cultural change in one or more contexts, and analyse the factors which influenced changes to social life and culture, in the inter-war years.

Unit 2 Twentieth Century History (1945-2000)

Students focus on the ways in which traditional ideas, values and political systems were challenged and changed by individuals and groups in a range of contexts during the period 1945 to 2000. Students explore the causes of significant political and social events and movements, and their consequences for nations and people. They investigate the establishment of the United Nations in 1945 and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Major events such as the competing ideologies of the Cold War as well as the development of new countries that gain independence are researched. Students also examine the rise of social movements that challenged existing values and traditions, such as the civil rights movement in America, feminism, assassinations of leaders and environmental movements.

Topics studied Include:

  • Cold War: ideologies and hot spots
  • War and Peace
  • Protest Movements and Social Development
  • Equality and Opportunity
  • Leaders and Dictators


  1. On completion of this unit the student should be able to explain the ideological divisions in the post-war period and analyse the nature, development and impact of the Cold War on nations and people, in relation to one or more particular conflicts in the period.
  2.  On completion of this unit the student should be able to explain the causes and nature of challenge and change in relation to two selected contexts in the second half of the twentieth century and analyse the consequences for nations and people.


Units 1 and 2

The student’s performance on each outcome is assessed using one or more of the following:

  • Depth historical inquiry
  • Analytical exercises
  • Oral presentations
  • Multimedia presentations
  • Film reviews
  • Reports, an essay and exams.

Contact Teacher - Amanda Leveridge