Australian studies

Uluru , Australia - August 21, 2016: Changing colour at sunset of Uluru, the famous gigantic monolith rock in the Australian desert. Image taken from the approved public viewing and photography area.

Analytical & creative engagement with Australia

Australian studies at UNSW is a broad interdisciplinary field, covering studies of Australian history, culture and society. You’ll explore the greater questions of human experience, the nature of political identity, citizen’s rights and obligations, the extent, power and limitations of shared ethical and cultural beliefs, and how these work in practice. 

Australian studies engages perspectives and approaches from numerous specialists in areas such as history, English literature, film and media, human rights, anthropology and the social sciences. You’ll explore the ways the past informs the present and engage in thinking about what Australian identity means nationally and globally.

Shifting ideas of Australian history, identity & tradition  

You’ll examine Australian culture and society through a new lens, appreciating the importance of a variety of perspectives and approaches. You’ll learn to critically examine ways of understanding the shifting ideas Australians have held about history, identity and tradition. 

Appealing to both local and international students, Australian studies fosters a solid understanding of the key events and issues that define Australian society, politics and culture today and Australia’s place in a regional and international context. These skills will place you in high demand by employers in public and private sectors, both here and overseas.

Learn from high-profile academics  

UNSW historians and researchers enjoy a high profile in the Australian community, receiving public awards and fellowships, as well as holding important links with media, cultural, religious and legal institutions. Our staff provide expert advice to government, inform policy debates, run public events, and produce and consult on radio and television documentaries.

Experience the rich diversity of Australian culture first-hand  

We take advantage of our location in Sydney, with exciting opportunities to experience the rich diversity of Australian culture up close and personal. You’ll enjoy excursions to sites such as the Anzac Memorial, The Rocks, the Quarantine Station at North Head, Botany Bay and the State Theatre, as well as the ever-evolving historical exhibitions throughout Sydney.


  • Our undergraduate courses cover a wide range of areas including Australian Legends: Gender Relations in Australia, Australian Literature, Aboriginal Australia, Inventing Modern Australia, Migrants and Refugees in Australian History and Australia’s Asian Contexts. You can also combine your studies with a wide range of subject areas within the school and faculty.  

    We offer the below undergraduate single degrees with a minor in Australian studies:

  • Honours is an extra year of study available to high achieving students. You’ll develop your research and professional skills guided by staff who are passionate about research and the development of new researchers. Having key archives at your fingertips is an incredible advantage in your research.

  • Our postgraduate research candidates undertake research through supervision with leading academics to produce an original body of work. In Australian studies-related fields, students can choose from a Doctor of Philosophy or a Masters by Research. To find an academic supervisor, visit Our people