Undergraduate studies

An undergraduate major in Indigenous cultures and histories is designed to give students an understanding of Australian Indigenous cultures, traditions and histories.

A major or minor sequence in Indigenous cultures and histories is offered to Bachelor of Arts students at Clayton. Students wishing to complete this major are recommended to take a first-year sequence in Indigenous cultures and histories.

Undergraduate and Honours course information

For information about Indigenous cultures and histories courses, course structure and pre-requisites please refer to:

Career paths

By enrolling in the Indigenous cultures and histories major or minor you will gain valuable knowledge, training and skills that can lead to many exciting career opportunities including:

  • Cultural heritage management
  • Museum and art gallery curator
  • Cultural and linguistic maintenance
  • Environmental management
  • Private sector (e.g. advisory role to tourism or mining industries)
  • Indigenous-controlled organisations (e.g. land councils, native title organisations)
  • Indigenous art centres (e.g. community liaison, project manager)
  • Policy (e.g. public service and government agencies such as Aboriginal Affairs Victoria)
  • Not-for-profit sector (e.g. NGOs, AusAID or similar organisations)
  • Community/state/territory/national media organisations
  • Archival researchers
  • Human resources (training and development)
  • Indigenous health
  • Teaching (with additional qualifications)
  • Research and academia (with additional qualifications i.e. Archaeology, History, Anthropology)

In the private sector graduates are increasingly sought by Australian industry in areas such as mining, agriculture, tourism and the arts. They fulfil a range of tasks from policy advisors, community liaison and economic development, applied research and human resource management. Law graduates with an appreciation of Australian Indigenous issues are also increasingly valued by the private sector, as industry is required to negotiate with people over land usage consistent with land and native title rights.

In the public sector graduates work as policy, financial and legal advisors, administrators, managers and researchers. In education and teaching graduates with an appreciation of Australian Indigenous issues are highly sought after for positions in rural and remote schools or in other schools supportive of Indigenous studies programmes.

These various employment outcomes indicate that Indigenous cultures and histories can provide students entering the job market with both specialist skills and a broad general education. Both are important given that current employment trends and jobs demand that graduates be highly flexible, adaptable and committed to ongoing education.

While specialist skills enable graduates to work in a range of occupations that directly interact with Australian Indigenous people and communities, the broader general educational benefits of Indigenous cultures and histories provides graduates with transferable cross cultural communication skills that are extremely useful for working in a multicultural society like Australia.

A major in Indigenous cultures and histories can unlock the door to a multitude of options for both career and further study. Indigenous cultures and histories units provide a range of skills useful in the ever-changing modern work environment. As an Indigenous cultures and histories major, you will gain lasting skills, which will enable you to take on challenging jobs and adapt and grow into the jobs of the future.

Student testimonies

I majored in Indigenous cultures and histories because I am an Aboriginal person and needed to know all I can about Indigenous history and issues. It’s important that students think about doing something in Indigenous cultures and histories so as not to be ignorant about my people and the issues facing them. Non-Indigenous students could play an important role in reconciliation by overcoming community ignorance about dispossession and ongoing racism. Think about doing Indigenous cultures and histories in your degree, it will enrich your life and help your understanding of Australian history… I’m now studying Law and my Indigenous cultures and histories major has helped me enormously.
Lynda Nicholson, Arts/Law

As a student majoring in Indigenous cultures and histories, I was able to learn about and engage with Indigenous issues on a deeper level. The staff at MISC were also very supportive of my community-based research. If you are interested in working with or creating links in the Indigenous community, I recommend studying Indigenous cultures and histories at Monash.
Liam Campbell, PhD candidate

I would recommend studying Indigenous cultures and histories because it not only increases your employment opportunities as an Arts student, but it also gives you the chance to explore yourself as a person. I majored in Indigenous cultures and histories because I want to work in an area that makes a difference. I am now an Honours student, and because of Indigenous cultures and histories I have an understanding of Indigenous communities and the issues they face in Australia today and in the past.
Rose QuinnBA

I’m now employed as a project officer, running forums for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in the areas of reconciliation,Treaty and health. I believe it is vital for Australians to properly engage in the black history and contemporary issues facing Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. A major in Indigenous cultures and histories is the best way to do this. To explore the issues, to better your understanding of Indigenous issues and to examine your role in all of it…
Nick CowanBA

The Monash Indigenous Studies Centre at Monash University prides itself on the quality of its teaching and the accessibility of its staff. By studying with us you will be encouraged to engage in what it means to be an Australian today, how our history might have unfolded differently, how Australia can further enhance its democratic ideals. By learning more about Australian Indigenous peoples, cultures and histories you will embark on a journey to discover more about yourself and non-Indigenous Australian society.