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


This unit aims to provide students with the basic knowledge and skills required to research and write life stories in a global and culturally diverse context. Through collaboration with the State Records Office of Western Australia and the State Library of Western Australia, which hold many relevant records and provide access to users, the unit will comprise a series of case studies including hands-on workshops, giving students work integrated and practice-led experience. Students explore both 1., how to do biographical research and write their own family history and/or a globally and culturally diverse biography, as well as 2., how to use these skills in producing other forms of history, including public history. Students are introduced to the relevant sources, information, and techniques employed by family historians in constructing genealogies, including oral interviews, historical records, and photographs, to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship of its members. Key themes are the exploration of global and historical processes of migration and identity-building through tracing family histories, from local to global.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Not available in 2024OnlineOnline timetabled
Not available in 2024OnlineOnline timetabled
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the History; Gender Studies major sequences
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) develop sound arguments about how the lives of migrants to Australia over the last 230 plus years has been shaped by historical contexts (social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental); (2) describe the historical and cultural processes leading to the global movement and migration of individuals, families and social groups to Australia over the last 230 plus years, through the medium of a family history; (3) demonstrate an understanding of a range of key historical debates that contextualise family history and its cognate historical fields; (4) identify a range of key resources relevant to family history; (5) articulate arguments in verbal and written communication; and (6) reference written work in accordance with the History guide to documentation of sources.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) family narrative; (2) research essay; and (3) workshop participation. 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)
Professor Jane Lydon
Contact hours
2 hour workshop per week for 12 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.