History banner


At Charles Darwin University we offer units in history that are directly relevant to our geographical location. Beginning with an introductory unit on Australian history, we move into our two specialist themes of Southeast Asian and North Australian history. Third year students are able to choose their own topics for guided research. This can be followed by further study at the honours, masters and doctoral levels. History units can also be studied as electives in many other courses offered at Charles Darwin University.

There is no single definition of history. There have been varying understandings of the meaning of history and its scopes and methods throughout time. Different ‘schools’ of history have often co-existed in the one period, including the present day (for example, Marxist, Feminist or Whig). Generally, however, history is understood as the study of past events through the analysis and interpretation of the sources left from the past. These sources can be oral records, documents, paintings, buildings and other things. One task of the historian is to identify which sources are most useful for creating credible accounts of the past. What those sources are and how they should be interpreted is a matter of ongoing debate. Participating in this debate is one of the pleasures of being an historian.

Career opportunities

Graduates in history are employed in a vast number of professions. It is useful to remember that it is not always necessary to major in a discipline to receive some benefit, as some knowledge of history can be useful in an almost endless number of professions. The following are some key examples.

  • Museums, libraries and archives
  • Novelists and writers
  • Radio, television and media
  • Academic historians
  • History or heritage consultants
  • School teachers
  • Public servants
  • Intelligence officers
  • Political advisers
  • Politicians
  • Diplomatic corps

Study options

You can study history at the undergraduate level as the Bachelor of Arts program, which can extend into studying Honours.  At the postgraduate level, you can study a Master by Research or a Doctor of Philosophy, both of which allow you to choose your own research topics in conjunction with a supervisor.

Current units

HIS142 Introduction to Australian History
HIS231 Colonial Rule in Southeast Asia
HIS246 Colonial North Australia
HIS252 Modern History of Southeast Asia
HIS347 North Australia in the 20th Century
HIS355 Mainland Southeast Asia
CAH301 Independent Studies A
CAH302 Independent Studies B

More information

For general information about applying or registering at CDU, enrolling in units, and the different study options please visit the Study at CDU page. For more specific information about studying history at CDU please contact:

Christine Doran
Senior Lecturer in History
Email: christine.doran@cdu.edu.au
Phone: 08 8946 6729
Steven Farram
Lecturer in History
Email: steven.farram@cdu.edu.au
Phone: 08 8946 6865