Study History

What is History?

History is how we understand who we are and what we care about. When you study history, you delve deeply into the past. You may choose to focus on individuals, groups, places, ideas, events– anything you can think of.

Historians take an in-depth look at humanity – analysing the rise and fall of societies and determining their successes and challenges.

The study of history involves the examination of artefacts and texts and requires engagement with ideas about the past. It requires you to look beyond the surface and explore deeper into past events and times, in order to understand them as completely as possible. As it would be impossible to accurately study all human history, historians generally research a particular time, place, or topic that fascinates them.

They investigate how the human-created drivers of politics, economics, and the environment have impacted different communities, and the implications of change.

Historians study the past to understand the present and shape the future, and historians consider it imperative that their work is communicated to the wider public. This could be through research papers, books, documentaries, or increasingly modern forms of communication, such as blogs and social media. Studying history develops strong communication skills that are highly valued in multiple industries.

Historians’ skills in managing information and understanding change are useful in many types of organisations. Decisions cannot be enacted without being recorded and remembered, and organisational memory is required for making successful new policy.

Discover JCU's
Bachelor of Arts

Learn to think creatively, analyse effectively, and build the cross-cultural communication skills necessary to work in today’s modern society as an historian with the Bachelor of Arts.

What does an historian do?

Historians have a broad skillset that is applicable to a variety of industries. With opportunities to apply your love of research directly or indirectly, studying history can take you anywhere.

You may choose to share your passion for the field today with the historians of tomorrow. Those who teach history draw on their highly developed analytical abilities to pass on skills including source analysis, research, and historical communication.

Some historians work within academia, and others work as professional historians. These individuals are involved in local, national, and international research projects that endeavour to find answers to society’s biggest questions about itself. As well as their research skills and critical thinking, they use their communication skills to liaise with colleagues, interview relevant people, and communicate their research in reports, journals, books, monuments, and presentations.

Historians also play a vital role in sharing their knowledge through museums and galleries open to the general public. In explaining the more tactile and visual elements of their work, historians can assist in bringing the past back to life. Working in museum curatorship will enable you to examine and preserve historical artefacts from all over the world.

Research and critical analysis skills are becoming highly sought after within many sectors. The skills you develop within a history degree may take you to fields as diverse as law, commerce, arts, communications and health. As these areas seek to innovate and provide new solutions to their clients, looking back to the problems previously overcome will strengthen their products and services.

The past is not dead, but more relevant to today than many can imagine. History furnishes you with the high-level communication and analytical skills to excel in information-heavy industries and make your mark wherever you choose.

What jobs are there in history?

History is a flexible degree that gives you transferrable skills you can take to almost any industry. JCU History students benefit from a strong focus on developing digital skills that use the study of the past to prepare students for the future.

When you study History at JCU, you’ll become confident communicating in a variety of ways and formats. By the time your complete your major you will be highly adept at both written and oral communications, and have particularly honed your skills in presentations, essays and reports.

You’ll develop skills in finding, assessing, and managing information. These skills are vital in the present and will remain so in the future.

You’ll learn to think critically and assess the contexts in which people live and act. You will have a deep understanding of global, national and local issues that will allow you to find innovative solutions to new challenges.

A Bachelor of Arts, majoring in History with JCU could see you excel in the following careers:

  • Research historian
  • History teacher
  • Museum curator
  • Archivist
  • Librarian
  • Intelligence officer
  • National security adviser
  • Policy officer
  • Cultural liaison officer
  • Diplomat
  • Humanitarian aid worker
History museum interior
Historian talking with a client

Why study History at JCU?

The study of History draws on highly developed research, analytical and communication skills. These are essential for success in the modern workplace, no matter what industry you choose.

JCU Bachelor of Arts students who major in History are taught relevant workplace-ready skills that will equip you for success in today’s employment market. Your skills will be highly transferrable, and you’ll demonstrate your elevated thinking and interpreting abilities.

You’ll receive personalised support from world-class lecturers as you explore ongoing challenges for the profession and develop complex reasoning in response to real-world scenarios.

Take advantage of JCU’s practical work placements, where you’ll be able to put your skills into practise sooner. You may even choose to undertake an overseas placement, expanding your worldview and developing your knowledge base further.

With a blend of online and on-campus courses, JCU is flexible and able to make study work for you. Study your way and meet your personal goals through a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in History at JCU.

Skills to succeed Gain transferable skills to stand out in the workplace
5 Stars for full-time employment1
Be the solution Become a critical thinker
1 2024 Good Universities Guide
JCU alumni, Tianna Killoran.

Tianna Killoran


Bachelor of Education (Secondary) - Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

"Studying History at JCU gave me a broad and transferrable skillset that has given me opportunities to work in a variety of environments, including teaching history in schools, conducting historical research, and writing articles and content for businesses and organisations. The course ignited my passion for understanding the history of people and places in Northern Australia’s past and has informed my critical understanding of local and global concerns."

Discover History at JCU

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