History of Ideas


This subject is an intensive university preparation subject that examines Western society and the ideas that affect our lives. Through this subject, students develop the specific academic skills required in all university faculties, including academic communication through oral and written discussion, research and correct use of published material, critical use of data, and analysis of complex issues. Students read and discuss important philosophers, scientists, and religious and political writers, and formulate their own responses.

Course outline

Within these themes, the subject examines:

  • reasoning, science and methods of achieving knowledge
  • educational methods and aims
  • scepticism and debate
  • democracy and other political views
  • power relationships and equality
  • ideas and freedom
  • religious and philosophical influences on society
  • colonialism, racism and globalisation
  • the twenty-first century and the questioning of 'truth.


All students must pass History of ideas in order to pass Foundation Studies.

Essays: 50%
Participation: 15%
Exam: 35%