Skip to content | Change text size

print version

Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Postgraduate - Area of Study

Managing facultyFaculty of Arts
Offered bySchool of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies
School of Humanities, Communications and Social Sciences
Campus(es)Clayton, Gippsland


Historical research is primarily concerned with interpretations of the past based upon the careful analysis of evidence and the critical assessment of other perspectives. History's questions are intrinsically fascinating: How can we know about the past? What can we know? Who speaks in the historical record, and who does not? If the past is written about in this way or that way, what are its consequences for interpretations of the present and the future?

The school's aim is to provide research and coursework students with the critical tools to undertake their own investigations of past worlds and to explore their own. Courses in the school also focus upon different approaches to the tasks of research, interpretation and writing, and encourage students to address questions such as the nature and status of different forms of historical evidence, the 'uses' of history in public debate, and the relationships between history and other ways of recording and remembering the past.

History offers postgraduate research supervision across a broad range of fields, along with coursework units and degrees which enable students to explore their own interests as well as key theoretical, interpretive and methodological questions about the nature of historical knowledge, research and writing. Research degrees in history combine detailed work in a particular area with broader training in appropriate research skills and in understanding of the changes within history as a discipline. Research students are offered regular research training and work-in-progress seminars, an annual one-day conference for the presentation of graduate research, and the opportunity to participate in editing Eras, a refereed online journal. Seminars, conferences and reading groups offered by the school, provide a supportive environment for all postgraduate students.

Specific research strengths in history at Monash include:

  • American history, especially social and cultural history
  • Australian social and cultural history, especially urban history, local history, oral history, public history and social welfare
  • biography, autobiography, oral history, memory and life stories.
  • European social and cultural history, especially French history, German history, Renaissance studies, urban history, family history and the intellectual history of religion and belief in medieval and early modern Europe
  • Indigenous history and the history of racial and ethnic relations
  • Jewish history
  • military history
  • South and Southeast Asian history, Indonesian history and the history of imperialism, colonialism and post colonialism
  • the history of gender and sexuality, especially in Australia, Britain and Europe during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries

There is also considerable expertise in the area of historical biography.

Students with research interests in areas such as public history and heritage should also refer to the postgraduate area of study entry for 'public history'.

For a full list of staff and research interests, see

Relevant Courses

  • 2056 Faculty Certificate in History
  • 0876 Postgraduate Diploma in History
  • 3937 Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Research)
  • 3092 Master of History
  • 2846 Master of Arts by research and coursework
  • 2695 Master of Arts*
  • 0020 Doctor of Philosophy*

* By research.