History is one of the most established academic disciplines, and one that consistently attracts high levels of public interest. Whether you like to read history, watch historical documentaries and films, or travel to sites of historical significance, History at UNSW seeks to cultivate that interest. We also introduce students to the many exciting possibilities regarding teaching, researching and writing history. The other key focus involves encouraging students to think critically about the past, to be able to synthesize information and analyse its meanings. The passion for history instilled in our graduates is evidenced by one of our high profile alumni, Australia’s former Foreign Minister and former ex-NSW Premier, Bob Carr, who is also renowned US history buff.

Historians at UNSW boast a prodigious publishing record, include prize-winning authors, while also maintaining a distinguished reputation in teaching and learning. History received the mark of 5/5 or way above world standard in the Excellence Research Australia in 2015. Students are offered a great variety of courses informed by exciting new research and debates, delivered by academics who are internationally known scholars in their field who also consistently enjoy very high student satisfaction ratings.

As members of a top ranking research-intensive university, UNSW historians are all engaged in original and cutting edge work. Their interests range from the British and French empires to migration to Australia, from gender and war in China to German internment camps. We strongly encourage students to develop their own interests and to consider conducting advanced research. Many of our students take the opportunity to immerse themselves in producing their own original work by continuing their studies in our fourth year Honours and postgraduate research programs.

The value of studying history

Professor Alison Bashford is a Research Professor in History and Director of the New Earth Histories Research Program. Her work connects the history of science, global history, and environmental history into new assessments of the modern world, from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries.