HIS303: Humanists and Reformers – The Renaissance


HIS303: Humanists and Reformers – The Renaissance

Key details

Accredited towardsBachelor of Arts in the Liberal Arts
Unit typeElective unit
Credit points6
Indicative contact hours3 hours per week
Offered inSemester 1
Tuition feeLearn more



This unit of study explores the period in Western European history known as the Renaissance, from the middle of the fourteenth century to the middle of the seventeenth century. It will focus mainly on the literary and intellectual achievements of this period, especially during the Italian humanist movement, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation and the Scientific Revolution. It presents a history of early modern times emphasising the philosophical, political and theological issues discussed amongst some of Europe’s best-known writers, including Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Erasmus, Calvin, Galileo, and Descartes.


Learning outcomes

The unit learning outcomes develop in students an awareness of the value and relevance of the study strand. On completion of this unit of study, students will be able to:

  1. develop an understanding of Western culture in the early modern era;
  2. analyse critically the impact of religious faith and division in Western society;
  3. identify and discuss the major elements of the clash between science and religion;
  4. discuss the key issues surrounding the challenge of rationalism to religious faith;
  5. engage in research, reflection and critical analysis of presented information and source materials;
  6. summarise and communicate orally in a logical and coherent manner;
  7. write clear and concise essays with the appropriate use of sources, referenced according to academic conventions;
  8. participate in group work and tutorials by undertaking required readings and contributing with clarity and coherence.



Interested in other History units?

HIS101: Western Societies from Antiquity to the Present
HIS102: The Ancient World – From the Birth of Greek Rationalism to the Crisis of the Roman Republic
HIS203: The Early Church and the Roman Empire – From the Principate of Augustus to the Reign of Justinian
HIS204: The Medieval World
HIS301: Topics in Twentieth-Century History
HIS302: Australian Politics, Culture and Religion since 1788
HIS303: Humanists and Reformers – The Renaissance
HIS304: Enlightenment Europe and the Creation of the Modern World



Our Disciplines