High School

Start University in Year 11

America: Prophecy, Power, Politics

America: Prophecy, Power, Politics is a Board of Studies endorsed HSC course that offers Year 11 and Year 12 students the opportunity to develop university-standard writing and critical thinking skills, and earn credit towards a tertiary degree. Offered by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, America: Prophecy, Power, Politics covers new and exciting ground outside the HSC curriculum to enrich the study and understanding of the United States.



Debate the Future of America

Win great prizes for your school!

The US Studies Centre's Debate the Future of America competition sees teams from NSW high schools debating issues pertinent to the future of the United States. The competition commences in August with the grand final at the University of Sydney’s Open Day on 27 August 2016. The winning team will receive three iPads for their school!

2016 History Teachers' Association NSW Extension History Essay Prize

The US Studies Centre is pleased to partner with the History Teachers' Association of NSW to offer a special category prize for their Extension History Essay Prize.

The Extension History Essay Prize is for NSW high school students and is open to essays that:

  • Satisfy the requirements of the NSW HSC Extension Project
  • Are the product of genuine research
  • Represent "interesting and well written history"

Special Category – American Studies Prize

This category is sponsored by the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. The prize will be awarded to the best essay on any topic relating to US history or American studies.

Prizes: 1st - $300, 2nd - $200

Visit the History Teachers' Association of NSW website for details on how to enter.

Entries closing on 14 September 2016.


Congratulations to the 2015 winner of the History Teacher’s Association NSW Extension History Essay Prize!

The Centre is pleased to announce Huon Williams as the recipient of the History Teacher’s Association-USSC prize for best HSC History Extension essay on an American topic. Williams attended Northern Beaches Secondary College Balgowlah Boys Campus and is now in his first year at the University of Sydney. Rodney Taveira, who adjudicated the prize, described the essay as a “mature, insightful, and historiographically sophisticated essay.”

Williams’ interest in America began in Year 10 when he realised how little he knew about American history. This led to his own exploration of US history, where he came to admire the individualism of America and how American history was often a contest between ideas. In Year 12, he continued his studies on America during the Cold War.

“I decided to study the US frontier for my history extension essay because the rawness and chaos of the epoch really appealed to me. Pictures of railroad lines winding through Monument Valley or the Indian Chief Geronimo in an automobile captured my attention and stirred an absolute fascination with this era in American history.”

Having visited Harvard earlier this year, Williams would love to do an exchange at either Cambridge or Oxford and, in the future , wants to write a book on US history or the British Empire. Currently, Huon is undertaking a Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies), taking HSTY1076, American History: From Lincoln to Obama.

You can read Huon’s essay here

Past activities for high school students



Candidates mix business with pleasure

Senior fellow Tom Switzer takes a look at the candidates strategies in the dying days of the US election campaign on Channel 7 Sunrise.

Planet America

The latest from Planet America

Catch up with ABC TV's Planet America, hosted by Centre research associate John Barron and watch recent episodes with Brendon O'Connor, David Smith and Gorana Grgic.

Simon Jackman

About the US Studies Centre

Centre CEO Simon Jackman explains the Centres wide range of teaching, research, study abroad and outreach activities.

Join our mailing list   Follow us on Facebook   Watch us on YouTube   Join the conversation on Twitter
Connect with us on LinkedIn   View our photos on Flickr   See what we're up to on Instagram   Subscribe to our RSS feeds