VCE History

History is the practice of understanding and making meaning of the past. It is also the study of the problems of establishing and representing that meaning. It is a synthesising discipline which draws upon most elements of knowledge and human experience. Students learn about their historical past, their shared history and the people, ideas and events that have created present societies and cultures.


This study builds a conceptual and historical framework within which students can develop an understanding of the issues of their own time and place. It seeks to extend students' cultural, economic, social and political understanding while developing analytical skills and using imagination.


Historical understanding is communicated through written, oral and visual forms. The analysis of written documentary evidence such as letters, diaries, court proceedings and government records has long been the foundation of the study. Visual evidence, however, often pre-dates written material; for example, rock art, mosaics, scrolls. More recently, there have been many film and television documentaries presenting and interpreting historical events. It is therefore important in the study of history for students to develop the skills necessary to analyse visual, oral and written records.


The study of history draws links between contemporary society and its history, in terms of its social and political institutions, and language. An understanding of the link between accounts of the past, and the values and interests of the time in which the accounts were produced, is also a feature of the study of history.

VCE History is relevant to students with a wide range of expectations, including those who wish to pursue formal study at tertiary level, as well as providing valuable knowledge and skills for an understanding of the underpinnings of contemporary society.