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What is the History program about?

Study the past, understand the present, imagine the future.

In all walks of life, people familiar with events, institutions and ideas of the past have a head-start in making sense of the present. In the History program, we seek to learn about the past, to study change over time, because it is useful, intellectually challenging and endlessly fascinating.

History is at the heart of the School of Humanities. It helps us to understand ourselves, and those around us in our community, region, country, and the world. Above all, historical knowledge is a vital component of cultural literacy and equips you to be global citizen.

As historians, we use a wide range of approaches to examine past events, people, processes, and relationships, in order to interpret their significance, origins, and outcomes.

Learn how to locate information, to analyse and to interpret sources, to engage in systematic exposition and present reasoned arguments.

Why study History with us?

Enhance your study in History with access to some of the country's most significant library holdings on Australian colonial history, Tasmanian, medieval and early modern England, via the State Archives, TMAG in Hobart and QVMAG in Launceston.

Ever wanted to know more about your own past? Delivered fully online, the Diploma of Family History builds your skills and knowledge in finding and interpreting information about your ancestors, and sharing family stories with others.

Complement your study in History with the School of Humanities' offerings in English, Classics, Philosophy, Gender Studies, and Aboriginal or Asian Studies.

Learn from internationally recognised staff whose research in History has elevated the University of Tasmania's research ranking in the discipline above world standards*.

Undertake a major (eight units) in History on-campus in Hobart or Launceston, or anywhere in the world online.

What careers relate to History?

Studying History is an opportunity to gain valuable experience and training in making judgements on the basis of incomplete information, in understanding human life in all its complexity, in critical thought and in jargon-free communication. This will equip you to find work in areas such as journalism, the electronic media, teaching, politics, the public service, business, libraries, museums and archives, heritage and tourism.

Modern workplaces are invariably changing; responding to economic, political and social forces, which means employees need the basic intellectual capacities to adapt to change. Employers also depend on people who are effective communicators and decision-makers, with demonstrable skills in critical thinking, problem solving, research and investigation. These abilities are fundamental for graduates from the School of Humanities.

  • Advocacy and counselling
  • Communications and public relations
  • Linguistics
  • Foreign relations
  • Education
  • Healthcare and healthcare ethics
  • Historian
  • Information technology
  • Journalism and publishing
  • Law
  • Manager in private and public enterprises
  • Museum, gallery or library curator
  • Politics and public policy-making
  • Psychology
  • Public health and welfare
  • Researcher
  • Tourism and travel operator
  • Writer

How can I learn about History?

Our History program covers periods from Medieval Europe to the present, and our units can be identified with HTA in the unit code. As a diverse discipline, you’ll study two core units in the first year, before selecting elective units in the broad fields of Australia and the World and European History to follow your interests from your second year.

Many people who undertake a major (eight units) in History treat it as a valuable combination with English, Classics, Philosophy, Gender Studies, and Aboriginal or Asian Studies in the Bachelor of Arts. History is also a popular choice as the Arts major in combined degrees with Fine Arts, Law, Science, Business, and Economics.

Interested in studying with us? Explore our course and research opportunities below.

Each course and unit is linked to its own page with more detailed information and entry requirements on the Courses & Units website.

Your learning experience in History goes beyond the lecture and tutorials.

You will be taught by experts, and gain perspective from guest lecturers and forums; gain a competitive advantage with real-world experience prior to graduation; study abroad for a fortnight, a month, a semester or a year, as part of your degree; have options to complete your studies your way, whether on-campus, online, part-time or full-time;  pursue your passion or specialisation with a range of scholarships, bursaries and financial assistance programs, or meet your career goals with our pathway options.

The College of Arts, Law and Education, including the School of Humanities and History, offers a growing collection of units that are available to be completed either wholly or partially online to enable flexible study.

* The online availability for each unit is indicated on each individual unit page under ‘Availability’, then ‘Attendance options’ by the ‘Off-Campus’ icon .

Read more about Online Study options

We provide access to a variety of scholarships and bursaries at a University, College and Discipline level. The main application period begins in August, and closes on the 31st October the year prior to study commencing.

Browse Scholarships

Don't meet the traditional entry requirements? The School of Humanities offers an alternative entry pathway into our undergraduate programs. The Arts pathway is a great introduction into university study, and can assist you in gaining the qualifications and experience you need for your chosen career. This foundation year of study provides students with the skills and knowledge related to studying the arts and social sciences, with additional support and guidance to help you succeed.

If you would like to study a Bachelor of Arts, completing this year of foundation study in Diploma of University Studies (Arts Specialisation) (21A) will assist you in achieving your goals.

Pathway Programs at the University

An overseas study program gives you the opportunity to experience different cultures, study languages, undertake work placement or internships, make new friends and explore the world while receiving credit toward your degree and creating professional and life experiences. It provides a 'total immersion' experience in a variety of study areas and locations. You can choose a program length that suits you, from a 2-week fieldtrip, a short-term summer program to a full semester (or two).

Find out more about Overseas Study opportunities

The overall aim of this Internship Program is to facilitate individual professional development by building career experiences and opportunities in the native title and broader Indigenous sector, and to strengthen the capacity of organisations by attracting and retaining talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous candidates. The Aurora Project prides itself on having a transformational impact on the organisations it supports and on the career aspirations of internship alumni.

The Aurora Project is focusing more on supporting improved outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and graduates via Scholarship funded internships as pathways to jobs in Indigenous and Indigenous-sector organisations.

Applications are accepted from candidates with an academic background in the School of Humanities including History and Aboriginal Studies, together with a range of other disciplines.

For more information, including how to apply, please download the Aurora Internship Program Flyer (PDF 125.7KB) or speak to your Course Coordinator. The Aurora Project is proudly funded by the Australian Government.

Take your passion for ideas further than you ever imagined.

We offer a collegial, supportive environment, with experienced supervision, regular seminar series, research skills training, and many opportunities to work with peers and academics on your areas of interest. We supervise across a range of methodologies and conceptual/theoretical approaches, and encourage scholarship that draws on ideas from across diverse fields.

Choose a research topic that reflects your interests and identify a supervisor with the expertise to guide you in your research. Search for a discipline staff member via our staff profiles, or by an area or expertise.

The School of Humanities welcomes qualified applicants to undertake a research degree with us in any of our areas of research strengths and interests.

Masters by Research
Doctorates (PhD)

To find out about application procedures, entry requirements, and scholarships, refer to College of Arts, Law and Education Research Degrees.

Our research in History

The University of Tasmania is ranked above world standard in the field of History*. Our research reflects the broad nature of History extending from modern back to medieval times, across social, cultural, religious, economic, political, and military history, at local, national, transnational, and international levels.

Our staff and honorary research associates have published over 30 books on medieval, early modern, and modern European history; Australian, British, French and Indian history; and the history of labour, colonialism, the police, and medicine. Our particular research strengths include the following areas:

  • Australian, including Tasmanian, history
  • New Zealand History
  • Southeast Asia
  • Medieval Europe
  • Enlightenment and Revolutionary-Era Britain
  • Convict Transportation and the Convict Legacy
  • Settler-Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
  • World Wars and the Home Front
  • The Napoleonic Wars
  • Digital History
  • Food History

*State Of Australian University Research 2015–16, Australian Research Council.

Research Degrees

We welcome proposals from qualified applicants to undertake research degrees at both the Masters and PhD levels, and are pleased to discuss proposals that cross disciplinary boundaries.

Featured History Research

View more featured history research