Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


More than half the world's people now live in cities, but what role have cities played in the past? This unit explores the dazzling history and heritage of the world's great cities, through themes such as urban culture, environment and planning, gender roles, migration and race relations, as well as rebellion and protest. Among the cities studied may be the medieval and renaissance cities of Europe; the colonial cities of Africa and Asia; the old world cities of London, Paris, and St Petersburg; and the new world cities of North America and Australia. Students are given the opportunity to gain an understanding of the role of cities in world history as sites of population, power and culture, to gain a grounding in historiographical and theoretical trends in urban history, and to design a research project that engages with a major urban historical theme such as race, class, gender, or the culture or environment of a city.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Not available in 2024AlbanyFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the History major sequence
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate the requisite knowledge and skills to enable them to progress to Level 3 History units; (2) demonstrate an appreciation of the wonders, difficulties, benefits and inequities of urban life and city growth; (3) present arguments reflecting key historical and historiographical issues in urban history; (4) identify and evaluate a range of theoretical and disciplinary approaches within urban history; (5) recognise that most phases of city-making leave a material legacy that can be visited and learned from; and (6) gain the bibliographical skills necessary to find appropriate sources and produce a viable research proposal in order to undertake a research essay.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) lecture-workshop participation; (2) a research proposal with annotated bibliography; and (3) a research essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Andrea Gaynor
Unit rules
a Level 1 History unit
or GEND1901 Gender in Australia
or GEOG1103 Geographies of a Global City
or LACH1010 History and Theory of Landscape Architecture
Contact hours
lectures/workshops: 2 hours
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.