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


Sport provides a sense of belonging, gives meaning to people's lives, and helps to define how we see ourselves and others. It has shaped the world we live in - being widely used as a forum for establishing and challenging social, racial and gendered power structures. It's also one of the world's most lucrative businesses - generating billions of dollars in advertising revenue and corporate sponsorship and through cutting-edge marketing. This unit examines the changing relationship between sport, society and commerce in a global context between 1850 and 2020. It looks at how sport contributes to understandings of, and is shaped by, issues such as identity, protest, race, gender, celebrity, ethics, marketing, commerce and the media. Specific case studies include: the origins and development of modern sport in Victorian Britain and its Empire; sport and Australian national identity; gender, sexism and sport; the business of sport; sporting brands and celebrities; drugs and racism in sport; and sport as a vehicle for social protest and change. Students will come away with an understanding of different analytical frameworks used in the history of sport; an understanding of the historical context within which to appreciate the changing nature and evolution of sport; and an understanding of how the history of sport can inform pressing issues in society, business and sports science today. The unit has been designed to give it a broad inter-disciplinary appeal. No prior study of history is required.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2AlbanyFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the History major sequence

Students are able to (1) show a broad understanding of key concepts, theories, arguments and developments in sports history

; (2) demonstrate an ability to critically assess key concepts, theories, arguments and developments in sports history

; (3) acquire the bibliographical and research skills necessary to find appropriate sources and produce a viable research proposal in order to undertake a major essay

; (4) analyse appropriate sources for a research essay including textual, visual and primary source materials

; (5) apply the knowledge and skills gained to present arguments in both written and oral form using the conventions of the historical discipline

; and (6) work collaboratively with fellow students on the historical roots of a contemporary problem in sport.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) workshop participation; (2) research essay; and (3) reflective 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 David Barrie
Unit rules
12 points of Level 1 units
Contact hours
Two-hour weekly workshops and one-hour weekly recorded lectures over twelve weeks.
  • 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.