Our present is inherently linked to our past, shaping the world we live in today. We study history to understand how our political ideas, cultural norms and social beliefs have been shaped by past contexts.
Through your study of history at UNSW, you’ll discover diverse aspects of our human past, from ancient history to histories that tackle some of the greatest questions of contemporary times. You’ll learn how to examine and take meaning from all kinds of evidence, and to hone skills in interpretation, analysis and written expression.
UNSW history is uniquely global. Our expert knowledge covers Australia, the Pacific, the United States, Europe and most of Asia, as well as histories of sex, film and empire. Our community of academics at UNSW are known for their strengths in world history, histories of war, gender and sexuality, and histories of our region.
Our teaching is informed by exciting new research and debates delivered by academics who are internationally recognised experts in their field. You’ll enjoy stimulating classes with teaching staff who consistently receive high student satisfaction ratings and are widely published. Many are prize-winning authors.
Our expert academics teach and give papers all over the world and have taken up international fellowships at some of the most prestigious universities in the world, including Harvard University, Oxford University, and Cambridge University.
You’ll learn to appreciate the value of studying history and the way it impacts the world around us. A great example of the value history can have on contemporary society is Professor Alison Bashford’s New Earth Histories Research Program at UNSW. Her work connects the history of science, global history, and environmental history into new assessments of the modern world from the 18th to the 20th centuries.
As members of a top-ranking research-intensive university, you’ll be invited to participate in original and cutting edge work. Our vibrant research environment is showcased by two events running each year on the topic of Imperial, Colonial and Transnational histories, attended by distinguished speakers from Europe and North America
Develop your own specific area of interest and conduct advanced research with honours and postgraduate research degrees.
With critical thinking skills and an understanding of larger societal and human questions and problems, you’ll be equipped to approach jobs in any field and undertake roles such as:
Our undergraduate degrees begin with introductory courses and allows students to specialise in at least two different geographical areas in history. These include options in Ancient History including classical Greece, Ancient Egypt and Rome, and Modern History, including our expert historical study of Germany, India, Korea, China, and the French and British empires.
Our degree options
Honours is available as a fourth year of study for high achieving students. The research produced as an honours student and your extended engagement in a relevant field of study will set you apart from other graduates when job seeking.
Our postgraduate research students conduct original research in a Masters by Research or a Doctor of Philosophy. You’ll have the opportunity to contribute to several UNSW research initiatives such as the Grand Challenge on Refugees and Migration, conducting research on migrants in Australia (especially Greeks, Indian, Filipino), as well as the history of displaced peoples in World War II and a history of Filipino migration.
Our historians are also members of UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture and the Forced Migration Network. Research on disadvantaged communities is reflected in research on the homeless in Australia and Jewish history, especially The Holocaust.
Find out more about our postgraduate research programs.