Monash University

Postgraduate - Area of study

Students who commenced study in 2014 should refer to this area of study entry for direction on the requirments; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your area of study.

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Managing facultyFaculty of Arts
Offered bySchool of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.


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.

For a full list of staff and research interests, refer to the history staff profileshistory staff profiles (http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/history-studies/people/) webpage.


2846 Master of Arts by Research and Coursework

The entry below only details the coursework component of this degree. For all requirements including the research/thesis component refer to the full course entry.

This course is designed to provide students with a broader knowledge of specific fields of history and their associated methodological techniques, to introduce key theoretical concepts and questions regarding the nature of historical investigation and the examination of evidence from a variety of sources, and to provide a context of existing approaches and methods for students developing research theses.


Students complete 24 points at fifth-year-level from:

  • APG5289 Medieval dialogues: Reason, mysticism and society
  • APG5293 Genocidal thought
  • APG5296 Imagining Europe: Representations and images of a continent
  • APG5297 Recording oral history: Theory and practice
  • APG5299 History and heritage
  • APG5301 Reading and writing history
  • APG5302 Interpreting the Bible: Jewish and Christian perspectives
  • APG5303 Issues in environmental history: Images of the natural world
  • APG5305 History and memory: Interpreting life stories
  • APG5311 Text and community in Renaissance Italy
  • APG5313 Hidden transcripts: Cultural approaches to the past
  • APG5340 Confronting death through ceremony and symbol: A cross- cultural analysis
  • APG5618 Researching histories
  • APG5629 Global justice: Civil and human rights after 1945

Further courses

For a list of units in this area of study refer to the requirements for courses listed under 'Relevant courses'.

Relevant courses

  • 2846 Master of Arts by research and coursework
  • 2695 Master of Arts*
  • 0020 Doctor of Philosophy*

* By research.