History is the study of humanity in all its dimensions. It explores the diversity of human experience, the richness of difference in ideas, culture and institutions.
Historians draw out broad patterns and trends from the bewildering variety of evidence from the past. We focus on the web of human contact and conflict in our shared world. We look into many pasts to try to understand today’s world, to recognise what we share and to measure how profoundly our lives today differ and why.
The study of History equips students with:
- clear thinking and analytical skills
- research skills
- strong written and oral communication skills
- the ability to interpret information that helps us to understand our present world as well as the past
- a greater appreciation of our common traditions as well as developing respect for our differences
History at UNSW
History at UNSW is renowned for its teaching and research excellence. Historical Studies at UNSW received the maximum rank of 5 in the 2010 Excellence in Research for Australia report, which evaluated research activity and quality in the country’s 41 higher education institutions. The ERA results confirm that History@UNSW performs well above international benchmarks for its quality research, and is unsurpassed as a research performer among Australian universities.
History at UNSW is distinguished by its vast range of specialty courses and research opportunities. We specialise in:
- David Cahill
- Lisa Ford
- Peter Ross
- Peter Schrijvers
- Ian Tyrrell
- Geoff Nathan
- Shawn Ross
- Helene Bowen Raddeker
- Kama Maclean
- Mina Roces
- Jean Gelman Taylor
- Ruth Balint
- Lisa Ford
- Grace Karskens
- Anne O’Brien
- Zora Simic
- Nicholas Doumanis
- John Gascoigne
- Hamish Graham
- Martyn Lyons
- Guenter Minnerup
- Stefania Bernini
We also offer courses in world history, comparative history and transnational history. The breadth of our approach ensures that our programs challenge, engage and inform. History at UNSW covers social, cultural, intellectual, political and military history. Teaching and research are conducted in histories of gender, ethnicity, religion in world history, and documentary film and history. We teach across disciplinary boundaries into specialised studies programs, and conduct collaborative research with Languages and Linguistics, Film and Media Studies, Politics and International Relations. UNSW’s History program is distinctive among Australian universities in pioneering Transnational history which emphasises the circulation of peoples, ideas, technologies and institutions across national boundaries since the emergence of nation states as an important phenomenon in world history.
Download the History information brochure (PDF) (445 Kb)
History graduates find careers in a wide variety of occupations including journalism, law, politics, management, scientifi c and technical positions, teaching, librarianship, banking, museum management and tourism. History also provides training essential to many areas of employment in either the public service or private enterprise.
Students have the opportunity to complete an international exchange for one or two semesters as part of their degree. UNSW manages a large and active exchange program with over 180 different student exchange opportunities in 32 countries.
History is offered as:
- a major or minor with the three-year Bachelor of Arts and combined degrees
- a major in the Bachelor of Social Science
- an area of study within other UNSW degree programs including Business and Science
- a fourth (honours) year
The UNSW BA with a Major in History is structured to develop historically informed graduates who are critical, reflective and creative. In first year students are introduced to the study of world history, its major themes and processes through The Big Picture: An Introduction to World History. This course provides an overview of human experience from earliest beginnings to the mid 19th century, and is a requirement for all history students. In second session students can follow world history through The History Matrix: The Making of the Modern World, which covers the period 1850-2000. At upper levels students can study History through specific geographic regions and themes. Second year courses explore particular regions in greater depth while in third year there is greater attention to thematic and more specialised area studies. Those proceeding to a fourth (Honours) year are trained as historians by writing their own piece of history (a thesis) and participating in advanced seminars.
Program Coordinator: Associate Professor Nicholas Doumanis
- Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Arts/Education
- Bachelor of Media (Communication & Journalism)
- Bachelor of Media (Media Production)
- Bachelor of Media (Screen & Sound)
- Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Social Research & Policy
Courses available are listed at our Courses page.