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
- Foreign relations
- Healthcare and healthcare ethics
- Information technology
- Journalism and publishing
- Manager in private and public enterprises
- Museum, gallery or library curator
- Politics and public policy-making
- Public health and welfare
- Tourism and travel operator
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.
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.
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
Opening the archives of White Australia
The administration of the Immigration Restriction Act was a huge bureaucratic exercise, creating tens of thousands of records that today reveal personal histories of life under the White Australia Policy. Two recent online projects are opening up
How a biography brought me to family history
Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that this article may contain the names and images of people who are now deceased.Back in the early 2000s, the Australian Dictionary of Biography decided to prepare a supplement
How early Australian settlers drew maps to erase Indigenous people
The new Netflix series Shadow and Bone opens with cartographer Alina Starkov crammed into the back of a rumbling wagon, sketching a war-torn landscape. A flashback to her childhood in an orphanage shows her looking at a map of a conflict zone.A
A Belgian farmer moved a rock and accidentally annexed France
This week, a farmer in the Belgian town of Erquelinnes caused an international ruckus when he moved a stone standing in his tractor’s path.This stone marked the boundary between Belgium and France. By moving it 2.29 metres, he expanded Belgium’s