Australian Literature


The Australian Literature major will give you a broad understanding of the history and characteristics of Australian literature in its international contexts. It will introduce you to a wide range of literary and cultural works - poems, plays, novels and films - from colonial times to the present day, including works by Indigenous authors. You will encounter the richness, breadth and depth of the Australian Literature Program's research and teaching culture, allowing you to customise your study according to your interests.

Through class discussion and presentations, essay writing and exams you will hone skills central to the Australian Literature major: you will learn to read closely and conduct research as part of developing personal, imaginative and valid interpretations of a range of texts.

Study plan

A major in Australia Literature requires 36 senior credit points, including at least 18 credit points of core units of study at 2000 level and at least 6 credit points of core units at 3000 level.

Junior units of study (1000 level):
You complete 12 junior credit points from 1000 level units of study offered by the department of English. These focus on problems of genre, period, place and language that are relevant to literary studies and can be applied to Australian literature. ENGL1008 is an Australian literature focused unit and is strongly recommended.

Senior units of study (2000 and 3000 level):
Senior-intermediate (2000 level) units in Australian Literature are sometimes team-taught and are often intensive, small group learning environments. By doing these units you will become acquainted with contexts and issues in the field of Australian literary studies and with its most significant texts and authors, and consolidate your skills in close reading, as well as theoretical and secondary critical research and analysis.

You complete at least 18 credit points of core units of study at 2000 level. These are offered across a two yearly cycle. You are able to follow your own special interests by taking up to 12 credit points at 2000 level from elective units of study. You must complete three 2000 level units before undertaking 3000 level units.

Senior-advanced (3000 level) units consolidate your command of Australian Literature by building advanced insights and deep knowledge of Australian literature and its criticism. They will involve you in issues at the cutting edge of the field. You will have opportunities to contribute to inquiry through research, presentation, and writing tasks that will engage you in current debates and allow you to formulate your special research interests. For a major in Australia Literature you must complete at least 6 credit points of core units at 3000 level.

Graduate opportunities

Sydney Arts and Social Sciences graduates work in government departments at all levels, and major private sector consultancies and corporations, locally and overseas. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers a range of subject areas that prepare graduates for careers in administration, education, business research, marketing, media, management consultancy, public relations, gallery and museum curatorship, hospitality and tourism, community and welfare. Our graduates are proficient in research and inquiry, and demonstrate personal and intellectual autonomy, and ethical, social and professional understanding, qualities sought after by leading employers all over the world.

Further study for major

Eligible candidates may proceed to an Honours year in the Bachelor of Arts, or apply for admission to a rich postgraduate program in the humanities and social sciences, comprising advanced learning and professional courses. Master degrees include capstone projects ranging from internships with government and non-government organisations in Australia and overseas, the gallery and museum sector, and leading media organisations, to opportunities for independent research projects which prepare students for higher degrees by research.

Related subject areas


Our courses that offer this major