What will I study?


Your course structure

The Bachelor of Arts requires the successful completion of 24 subjects (300-points), including at least one major. Most students study eight subjects each year (usually four subjects in each semester) for three years full-time, or the part-time equivalent.

Most Arts majors require 100 points of study (usually eight subjects) for attainment. This means out of your 300-point program, you have the opportunity to achieve two majors in your course.

New undergraduate History pathways

From 2020, students undertaking a History major in the Bachelor of Arts are able to follow one of three new optional pathways: Politics and International History, Social and Cultural History, or Gender History.

The pathways give students the opportunity to focus on a particular aspect or era of History, meet students who share similar interests, and effectively plan their History major.

Learn more


If you are taking History as a major, you must complete:

  • One level 1 elective subject and Arts Discovery
  • 37.5 points (usually three subjects) of level 2 elective subjects (usually at second year)
  • 25 points (usually two subjects) of level 3 elective subjects (usually at third year) and one level 3 capstone subjects

If you are taking History as a minor, you must complete:

  • One level 1 elective subject and Arts Discovery
  • 25 points (usually two subjects) of level 2 elective subjects (usually at second year)
  • 25 points (usually two subjects) of level 3 elective subjects (usually at third year)

Breadth is a unique feature of the Melbourne curriculum. It gives you the chance to explore subjects outside of arts, developing new perspectives and learning to collaborate with others who have different strengths and interests — just as you will in your future career.

Some of our students use breadth to explore creative interests or topics they have always been curious about. Others used breadth to improve their career prospects by complementing their major with a language, communication skills or business expertise.

What students are learning at Melbourne


Jade Smith

Jade Smith is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in History and Ancient World Studies.

Studying History and Ancient World Studies at uni is very different to high school. In VCE it’s very much about rote learning, memorising dates, facts, major figures, and the kind of answers that the assessors want. You don’t really engage with the content in the same way as you do at uni. Here, it’s more about thinking deeply. We study what events means in a wider context, what they mean for the people who were involved and their significance for the future political situation.

One of my favourite lecturers would have to be Peter McPhee who teaches The French Revolution. I read so much of his work in year 12, now I find it kind of insane that he’s a lecturer here.

A couple of fellow students and I founded the History Society last year. Our core aims are to encourage further interaction with history outside of the subjects, to encourage students of history to meet each other socially and network with people who have similar interests, and to provide an extra tier of academic support outside of class.

Every two weeks we book out a room in Arts West for study sessions. We also hold social events – our last event, trivia, was a huge hit – we had to turn people away at the door!

Explore this major

Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this major.

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