History aims to understand and interpret the past. It is our collective memory. What makes history exciting is the ways it can inform, surprise and challenge our assumptions. Knowledge about the past shapes the contemporary world by changing how individuals and societies see themselves, their place in the world, and their future. History is powerful. It is not just focused on the past, but also helps us to understand the present and imagine how we want to live in the future.

History major

In your History Major at UOW, you will encounter a rich and diverse past and explore how and why it has power in the present. In your first year you will study a broad range of historical periods and places, using a variety of historical approaches. In your second and third years you will be able to specialise and study topics in greater depth. You will learn to recognise the forces that have shaped society and understand your own place within it. You will discover: the opening up of new worlds and the transformation of old ones; empires rising, falling and colliding; wars and revolutions; the politics of everyday life. You will encounter new ideas about race and human rights; sex, gender and society; the natural world; pop culture and propaganda; protest, power and politics.

Taught by researchers who are internationally renowned in their fields, you will develop skills in collecting, analysing and presenting historical material. This material includes a range of primary sources, such as documents, photographs, artworks and objects from a variety of historical periods and locations. History is being transformed by the digitization of primary sources and at Wollongong we encourage you to take full advantage of new opportunities for innovative research. You will be encouraged to immerse yourself in your own areas of historical interest, whether at Undergraduate, Honours or Postgraduate levels.

What will you gain from studying History?

As an interpretive discipline, History helps you to develop the skills needed in a broad range of occupations. History subjects will teach you to find information and critically evaluate debates. They will sharpen your capacity to communicate your arguments and beliefs clearly and effectively. You will learn to present what you discover in the form of written work, classroom discussion and creative online products. Studying History enriches your experience of the world by offering you ways to understand the broad scope of human experiences - from everyday life to global events. Having historical awareness will provide a solid foundation for every aspect of your life, at work and beyond, long after your university days are over.

Student testimonial

Studying history at the University of Wollongong has been a wonderful learning experience. Throughout my degree I have been able to engage with a variety of historical subjects and time periods which have enriched my understanding of the way history affects the world politically, socially and economically. I have had the opportunity to work with the expert staff in the faculty who specialize in a range of fields and have been able to make use of the fantastic archives online and in the library. I would recommend this degree to anyone with a passion or interest in history, not only cultivate your knowledge of the past, but also to develop research and writing skills that are highly sought after in the workforce.

- Meg Adams, Dean's Scholar, History Major

Why study History?

It's a fascinating topic area and you really come to understand the world and how the world works.

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