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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Postgraduate - Course

This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Arts

Managing facultyArts
Abbreviated titleMAusIndigStuds
Total credit points required72
Standard duration of study (years)1.5 years FT, 3 years PT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Clayton)
Contact details

Professor Lynette Russell, CAIS, 9905 4200,


  • This course is not available to international student visa holders.


This course is designed for both practitioners already employed with Indigenous communities or who are active in associated or allied work (such as public record offices, libraries, museums and community cooperatives, keeping places, native title, government instrumentalities) and for students who wish to gain further academic knowledge and credentials in the field of Australian Indigenous studies. The course challenges students to assess, evaluate and critique the effectiveness and efficiency of their workplaces in terms of performance, transparency and ethical standards and enables a sensitive response when involved in important decisions about Indigenous knowledge and the maintenance of cultural heritage.

The course not only explores some continuing problems in Indigenous studies but also focuses on change and development. The Master of Australian Indigenous Studies critically assesses changing contours of cultural knowledge amidst the rampant processes of globalisation and rapid technological advances. The course addresses issues of local and international importance within the framework for maintenance and control. Various regional, bilateral and international structures for reclamation of cultural heritage are discussed.


Students completing this course will demonstrate:

  • an advanced understanding of the theory and practice of Australian Indigenous studies
  • the ability to evaluate the role of research and theory in the advancement of knowledge within the field of Australian Indigenous studies
  • critical understanding of the functions of law, politics, government and academia in the shaping of relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous people in Australia
  • the capacity to formulate and research topics in Australian Indigenous studies
  • the capacity to draw conclusions, based on research-driven evidence, and to make policy and reform recommendations
  • knowledge, skills and attributes for self-motivated, independent investigation of Australian Indigenous studies issues
  • knowledge and understanding of Australian Indigenous studies within an international comparative context
  • attributes of team-work and problem-solving within cross cultural contexts
  • the ability to engage with other professionals working in the Australian Indigenous studies system and allied professions
  • knowledge, and understanding of ethical issues relating to Australian Indigenous studies.


This course consists of three core units and 36 points of elective units. A maximum of 48 points must be completed at level four and minimum of 24 points at level five.

Students who achieve a distinction average in their level four units have the option of undertaking a 24-point research dissertation at level five. All units are worth 12 points except where indicated.


Students complete:

  • AIS4010 Theories and research methodologies in Australian Indigenous studies
  • AIS4040 Interrogating race and power in Australian Indigenous studies
  • AIS4290 Into the field: The theory and practice of ethnography
  • 36 points of electives from one of the streams below of which at least 24 points must be at level five.

Indigenous perspectives and native title

  • AIS5000 Research project in Australian Indigenous studies (24 points)
  • ASM4290/ASM5290 Into the field: The theory and practice of ethnography
  • AUS4010/AUS5010 Australian society and culture
  • AUS4025/AUS5025 Australia in a global perspective
  • HYM4200/HYM5200 History and memory: Oral history, life stories and commemoration
  • HYM4560 The past around us
  • HYM4950/HYM5950 Hidden transcripts: Cultural approaches to the past
  • LAW4158 Indigenous peoples and the law
  • LAW4197 Indigenous rights and relationships: A comparative analysis
  • LAW7206 Native title: Courts, tribunals and communities
  • LAW7260 Indigenous rights and international law

Repossession of Australian Indigenous culture

Guarding Australian Indigenous heritage

Alternative exit(s)

Students who have completed studies in the Master of Australian Indigenous Studies to the value of:

  • 24 points may apply to exit with course 4006 Graduate Certificate of Australian Indigenous Studies
  • 48 points may apply to exit with course 4007 Graduate Diploma in Australian Indigenous Studies.


Master of Australian Indigenous Studies