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Key facts

UNE unit code: HIST303

*You are viewing a unit that is offered in 2021. Unit information may be subject to change prior to commencement of the teaching period.

  • Trimester 3 - On Campus
  • Trimester 3 - Online
  • Armidale Campus
24/7 online support
  • Yes
Intensive schools
Intensive Schools

Intensive schools are either mandatory or voluntary periods of on-site study at our UNE Armidale or Sydney campuses. Please read the unit information for specific details.

  • Yes
Supervised exam
  • No
Credit points
  • 6

Unit information

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Witchcraft is a cognitive construct useful for understanding and interpreting the European later Middle Ages. Witchcraft was an idea which shaped reality and a reality which formed ideas. In their struggle to establish social order, ecclesiastical and secular authorities invented and then sought to repress witches. This unit aims at an analysis of the invention of witchcraft, its subsequent regulation, detection, prosecution, and the punishment of early modern Europe's most alarming miscreants, based upon the surviving documents. The study of witchcraft in its historical context involves considerations of sex, demonology, theology and law. The unit will introduce students to the documentary evidence for the phenomenon of witchcraft in its several dimensions, placing stress upon the use and interpretation of those primary sources, analysis and contextual functions.
Combined units
Combined Units

Combined units have the same content but can be studied at different levels.


For further information about UNE's teaching periods, please go to Principal Dates.

Teaching period

For further information about UNE's teaching periods, please go to Principal Dates.

Trimester 3On Campus, Armidale Campus
Trimester 3Online

*Offering is subject to availability

Intensive schools

Intensive schools are for students enrolled in Online Mode only, unless specified in the notes.

25 October 202129 October 2021Non-Mandatory Intensive SchoolAll offeringsBoth on and online students are encouraged to attend the intensive school in Armidale which will cover the entire trimesters work. This will involve face-to-face lectures and tutorials.



A pre-requisite is a unit that you must pass before you will be permitted to enrol in a related or subsequent unit. Most pre-requisite units will contain foundation knowledge which is essential for success in later units. Read more.

12cp in ANCH or HINQ or HIST or RELS or any 24cp or candidature in a postgraduate award


(Only when available in Trimester 3) Both on campus and online students are encouraged to attend the intensive school which will cover the entire trimesters work. This will involve face-to-face lectures and tutorials.

Please refer to the student handbook for further details on this unit.

Unit coordinator(s)

profile photo of Thomas Fudge
Thomas FudgeProfessor - Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education; School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate critical, historical and reflective thinking;
  2. demonstrate a broad and coherent body of knowledge of the historiography of witchcraft in Europe in the later middle ages;
  3. analyse primary source documents and present a clear, coherent and independent exposition of knowledge and ideas;
  4. discriminate amongst the crucial developments in the evolution of witchcraft and demonstrate an understanding of the topic as an historical issue in the sense of seeing witch hunting as a cognitive construct for understanding medieval Europe;
  5. apply critical thinking skills and an understanding of historical events, persons and ideas to explain their significance in the development of witch hunting; and
  6. apply well developed cognitive skills and judgement to compare the early modern phenomenon with the modern world: ie McCarthyism, the post-9/11 world, and the 'war on terror'.

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Studying online

At UNE we know it takes more than just being online to be a great online university. It takes time and experience. We pioneered distance education for working adults back in the 1950s, so we’ve been doing this longer than any other Australian university.

We understand the challenges faced by busy adults studying at home. We know that a vital part of online study is your engagement with the learning community. Communication with your classmates, teaching staff and university support staff will enhance your study experience and ensure that your skills extend beyond the subject matter. UNE’s teaching staff are experts in their field which is why UNE consistently receives five stars from students for teaching quality, support and overall experience.*

*The Good Universities Guide

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