History is the study of the past and its interpretation in the present. Historians make sense of the past by analysing evidence from written, oral, visual, digital and material sources in light of historical context. Using a range of approaches, they examine past events, processes and relationships, interpreting their origins, significance and consequences.

In a major in history you can study different periods, places and cultures, from the Medieval through to the present-day, from Australia and China to the United States and Europe.

Study plan

A major in History requires 36 senior credit points, including at least 24 credit points of core units of study of which 6 must be taken at 3000 level.

Junior units of study (1000 level):
Junior units of study survey a broad period and region and a variety of different approaches. You can choose from three different units of study in the first semester and four in the second, according to your interests. To progress to senior-intermediate (2000 level) units of study you complete any 12 junior credit points in History or Ancient History.

Each junior unit in History involves two hours of lectures and one hour of tutorials each week, and 4500 words of assessment including a source analysis, outline and final essay answering a set question, and an exam that examines the breadth of your knowledge, as well as your participation in tutorials.

Senior units (2000-level):
You must complete two junior units before you can do a 2000-level unit. You have a choice of approximately 8-10 units each semester, focused on the histories of particular nations or themes explored in a variety of different times and places.

Each senior intermediate unit involves two hours of lectures and one hour of tutorials each week, and 4500 words of assessment, including a bibliography, outline and a final essay, an exam or journal, and participation in tutorials.

Senior units (3000-level):
You must complete four 2000-level units before you can do a 3000-level unit. You have a choice of three units: the Primary Source Research Project; History Beyond the Classroom; and the Historiography Research Project – each focused on an independently framed project .

Each senior unit involves a one-hour lecture and one-hour tutorial each week, and 6000 words of assessment, involving a proposal, bibliography, outline, drafts and a final 4000-word project.

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

Ancient History, Archaeology, Philosophy

Our courses that offer this major