Modern history Society, history and languages

Modern history Society, history and languages

Studying modern history gives you a rich perspective on the evolution of today’s complex and rapidly evolving world.

At Macquarie, as well as research skills, you’ll gain crucial transferable skills – such as critical analysis and synthesis, reasoning, argument, inquiry, ethical problem-solving and effective communication – highly valued by employers in a wide variety of occupations.


Undergraduate Courses

Degree 2016 ATAR
Bachelor of Arts with a major in Modern History 75.00

Postgraduate Courses


Sorry, this course information is currently unavailable.


Undergraduate Courses

Degree 2016 ATAR
Bachelor of Arts with a major in Modern History 75.00

Postgraduate Courses


Sorry, this course information is currently unavailable.

Careers in modern history

  • analyst
  • business administrator
  • business manager
  • diplomat
  • gallery and museum curator
  • media officer
  • ministerial liaison officer
  • policy adviser
  • political affairs officer
  • press secretary
  • public relations specialist
  • public sector adviser
  • researcher
  • union official
  • writer

Professional experience

Build on your knowledge of Modern History from lecture theatres and textbooks with practical experience in the workplace with Macquarie University's PACE program.

Through Macquarie University's PACE program you have the opportunity to engage with the practical applications of history in a range of cutting-edge contexts. Modern History students have previously been involved in database development, oral histories and academic research through PACE along with work experience at the History Council and supporting History week.

No matter what you decide to study at Macquarie, PACE has an opportunity available for you. Learn more about the opportunities available through PACE.

Our expertise in modern history

Dr Nicholas Baker

Dr Nicholas Baker 

Senior Lecturer 

Nicholas Baker is a cultural and political historian of early modern Europe, with particular interests in Renaissance Italy, political culture, and the use of visual sources in historical research. He has published articles on political culture, violence, and sexuality in sixteenth-century Florence. His first book The Fruit of Liberty: Political Culture in the Florentine Renaissance, 1480-1550 was published by Harvard University Press in 2013. He has previously taught at the University of Melbourne in Australia, and at Northwestern University and Washington & Lee University in the United States.

See Dr Baker's full profile

Our facilities

Australian History Museum

The Australian History Museum holds a vast collection numbering over 6,000 items reflecting Australia's history from pre-colonization to today. Students have the opportunity to engage with the vast range of objects and sources amongst its collection as a hands-on experience of Australia's social history. 

Learn more about the Australian History Museum

Study modern history at Macquarie

At Macquarie University you can study and learn from research-focused historians who specialise in gender history, world history, postcolonial history, media history, European history and Australian history. We offer diverse programs of study with particular strengths in Australian History, World and global History, and Europe and the West.

Cheryl has also conducted oral history research into HIV-positive men’s memories of the epidemic in New Zealand, and completed her Master’s thesis: ‘Wounded Bodies and Illness Narratives: a History of Attitudes and Behaviour Towards HIV-Positive Homosexual Men in New Zealand Between 1983 and 1997’ at the University of Waikato in 2011. An article from this research, ‘HIV Illness Narratives in New Zealand: The Significance of the Experiences of HIV-Positive Homosexual Men Between 1983 and 1997’ was published in Health and History in 2013.

Cheryl won the Macquarie University 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition in 2014 and represented Macquarie at the Trans-Tasman Championships.

Public Intimacies revisits 1970s, a time of social and cultural transformation in Australia, and the events around the Royal Commission on Human Relationships. It outlines the successes and failures of the commission through a rich store of archival material and interviews with the key players. Public Intimacies brings to life the political debates behind women's and gay rights, as well as some of the weird and wonderful public responses.

According to the NSW Premier's History Awards judges, Public Intimacies "addresses a passionate debate, and, more importantly, it is well-crafted radio that reminds us of the value of this media for historians."

The NSW Premier's History Awards honours distinguished achievement in history by Australians. The awards assist in establishing values and standards in historical research and publication, and encourage everyone to appreciate and learn from the work of our historians. The winners of the 2014 NSW Premier's History Awards were announced at a presentation ceremony and cocktail reception, which also launched NSW History Week, on Friday 5 September at the State Library of NSW.

Dr Michelle Arrow commented, "For several years, I have researched and taught about the ways that historians communicate their work to broader audiences through documentary, so to win this kind of recognition for my own radio program was especially gratifying and exciting."

"The Royal Commission on Human Relationships really attempted to speak to the general public about issues that had long been hidden, so the intimate medium of radio seemed perfect to tell its story."

Dr Michelle Arrow is an Associate Professor from the Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations. Her research interests include the history of popular culture in Australia, radio and histories of listening, memory, feminist history, and representations of history in the media. She is the author of Friday on Our Minds: Popular Culture in Australia Since 1945 (UNSW Press), and Upstaged: Australian Women Dramatists in the Limelight at Last (Pluto Press & Currency Press).

Accepting her honorary doctorate from Macquarie University, actor Cate Blanchett addressed the graduands in the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Human Sciences graduation ceremonies held 25th September 2014. She talked about the arts as "the driver of innovation and exploration."

Blanchett said, "A culture that supports change, adaptation, experimentation, is the only way that a scientist can find the mental space to explore and innovate. A culture that is reduced and closed and inhibited will never result in innovation and exploration, and it will never produce truly great scientists. So you can see it is the cultural space that is the vital ingredient here."

"The arts are what we stay alive for, what we work all week for, what we dream about, what connects us, and indeed, what some would say makes us human."

Macquarie University presented Blanchett with a Doctor of Letters honoris causa award in recognition of her extraordinary contribution to the arts, philanthropy, and the community.

In her career across stage and screen, Blanchett has received numerous film and theatre awards including two Academy Awards, three Baftas and three Golden Globe awards. She has also been awarded the Centenary Medal for Service to Australian Society through Acting, and the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister for Culture. She served as Co-Artistic Director and CEO of the Sydney Theatre Company from 2008-2013, alongside Andrew Upton.

A Patron of the Sydney Film Festival, Blanchett is also an Ambassador for the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Australian Film Institute.

Cate Blanchett encouraged the graduands to discover their passion and be open to opportunities, as she did throughout her career.

She said, "The interconnectedness of all these many disciplines reach into the very nook and cranny of our lives on this planet, and the journeys that they take you, and by implication, our society on, are many and varied."

"My journey thus far, and I hope it continues, looks on paper, random. And indeed being open to randomness, to chance, to variety, and therefore to opportunity has been a vital tool in my own personal creative tool kit."

"But on a deeper level, it hasn't been random at all, because it's held together by my passion and my beliefs. Whatever your area of pursuit, as they change and evolve, these are without doubt the most vital ingredients of all. Discover those and you're truly on your way."

Blanchett closed her address with a quote from educationalist Ken Robinson: "Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value. It is a process, it is not random. You can be creative in anything - maths, science, engineering, philosophy, as much as you can in music, painting or dance.

"Creativity is putting your imagination to work and it has produced the most extraordinary results in human culture."

Related stories

Back to the top of this page