How to become a Historian

Historians conduct research into past human activity, including the history of countries, organisations, periods of time, buildings, cultural heritage, particular events, people, and ideas or issues.

Personal requirements of a Historian

  • An inquiring mind
  • Interested in human behaviour, society and politics
  • Interested in the lessons of the past
  • A thorough approach to research and problem-solving
  • Good written communication skills

Education & Training for a Historian

To become an historian you usually have to study history at university, preferably at honours level. Most historians then undertake a masters or doctoral degree, where they conduct research and, in most instances, write a thesis in their chosen subject area. Subject areas are diverse and include ancient history, Asian history, women's history, Indigenous history, environmental history, economic history, medieval and Renaissance history, public history, applied history, modern history and the history of nations. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with English. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information. For further details, visit

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