I think this course is a fantastic first year history course. It gives an overview of the history of Earth from the big bang until present times. Although it is rather scientific it helps put revolutions and ages into context - which is important regardless of what history you want to major in. The lecturer and tutors were accomodating and friendly and made the course interesting.
This course was a relatively easy history course, you barely needed to know any actual course content to do the course because the assignments were pretty much unrelated to the lecture/tutorial content. There was a pretty big emphasis on the science part of the course, which you don't get assessed on but my tutor said that they'll spend less time on it next year. Jonathan was a pretty relaxed lecturer who was very accommodating and posted a 'mock exam' to blackboard that ended up being identical to the actual exam. However, there were no powerpoints used which made the lectures a bit hard to follow.
Good introduction to an area many people don't read about. I personally didn't enjoy it as I am interested in modern history, but the assessment was easy enough and allowed people to pursue their own interests.
Semester 2 - 2013
Allowed to pursue own interests in assessment
Not interesting to people with a more modern focus on history
This course begins from the big bang theory, spends about six weeks on the beginning of time and then spends the majority of the time on early history. This course did not feel like a history course but more like a science and then an anthropology class. This could be a positive for some but this was a large negative for me as I prefer modern history. This lecture material was good and resources were made available online. The largest strength of this course were the assessments. Both the minor and major essays gave students a lot flexibility and freedom. The topics had very lose parameters and so students could really focus in on an area that interested them.
This course tries to do the impossible, and that is to cover the history of the Earth from the beginning of the universe to the present. I do not think it succeeds in doing that, but that doesn't mean the course isn't interesting. The time it attempts to cover means that there are some great essay topics available for the inquisitive. A worthwhile course for anyone interested.