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Explore the past to create a better future

Explore the past to create a better future with a Bachelor of Arts

Careers
Published 3 Sep, 2021  ·  9 minute read

Your passion for learning about the past can lead to a variety of fascinating and fulfilling career pathways with the UQ Bachelor of Arts.

A Bachelor of Arts (BA) will allow you to explore your passion for learning about the past and prepare you for a better future with a variety of majors to choose from. With a BA at The University of Queensland, you can opt to study:

Learn how you can study for a better future by exploring the past and gain a career you’re passionate about.  

History

BA history major

With a UQ Bachelor of Arts, you can major in just history or both history and ancient history.

Why do we study history? History is a multidimensional subject that increases our understanding of the world, raises cultural awareness and teaches us how to shape a better future. A major in history can lead to a diverse range of employment opportunities. You could work in a museum as an expert consultant or teach classes on history at schools or universities. You might decide to write scholarly articles on historical events or focus your career on archiving and heritage in a gallery or library.

“UQ was my first preference because of the broad range of history courses on offer. The subject taught by internationally renowned scholars meant that my experience was well-rounded. I developed skills in critical thinking, independent research, and analytical insight.”

– Cassandra Byrnes, History Major

There are so many career options you can go on to work in with a history major. This is a snapshot of what some UQ graduates have gone on to become:  

  • family history researcher
  • historian
  • historical adviser
  • historical researcher
  • history and humanities teacher
  • museum operations manager
  • publishing coordinator.

Career spotlight: family history researcher

Also known as a genealogist researcher, a family history researcher delves into searching records to uncover information about an individual’s relatives and uses these records to find and trace links to their ancestral history. These might be both official and unofficial records such as newspaper notices, census records, birth certificates, death certificates and marriage certificates. A family history researcher will also compile family history through the examination of personal artifacts and correspondence like letters, diaries and photographs.

This is a complex and rewarding career pathway that enables you to help people learn about their ethnicity, discover important or exciting aspects of their family history, find new relatives and so much more.

Ancient history

BA ancient history major

The UQ Bachelor of Arts allows you to major in just ancient history or both ancient history and history.

Ancient history contributes to human knowledge and understanding, paving the way for a better future. There are limitless career opportunities ahead for those who study ancient history. The skills taught in this major – the skills to think critically, question evidence, understand a variety of viewpoints and the importance of context – are transferrable to a wide range of careers. You can use your degree to conduct important academic research, work in museums all around the world or work as a facilitator to support cultural and art programs for communities.

“The absolute highlight of my program was being awarded the Osiecki Honours Scholarship, which enabled me to take part in an internship program overseas at the University of Sienna. This experience was incredibly rewarding.”

– Jessica Zelli, Ancient History Major

Use your ancient history major to build the career of your dreams. A few of the professions our UQ graduates have progressed into include:

  • academic researcher
  • arts and cultural facilitator
  • historical adviser
  • history and humanities teacher
  • history technician
  • museum worker.

Career spotlight: historical adviser

A historical adviser or consultant has the unique task of researching and advising on history. This is a valuable service offering, particularly for filmmakers, publishers, cities, museums, libraries and archives. With the ability to be your own boss, as a historical adviser you’ll likely work as a freelancer and either take on several small projects or tackle one big project at any given time.

For example, you might work for a filmmaker on a period movie and be required to put together a report on what the set should look like and what props and costumes are required. You’ll also be on hand during filming to point out any historical inaccuracies. This work requires great attention to detail.

Art history

BA art history major

For art enthusiasts, an art history major could be a dream degree choice. Humans have been telling stories through art throughout history. With an art history major, you can take what you learn about this rich strand of human culture and make a profession out of it. Become an artistic director and take on the responsibility of creating the artistic vision for a theatre company. You could also use your degree to become an art therapist and help others improve their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

“In the field of art history, even outside academia, further study is highly regarded and often required for most curating and cultural tourism roles. I feel the honours program has certainly expanded my field.”

– Terri Fuelling, Art History Major

There are several career pathways forward with an art history major. These include:

  • art therapist
  • artistic director
  • gallery curator
  • gallery director
  • museum curator
  • museum operations manager.

Career spotlight: gallery and museum curator

Gallery or museum curators are responsible for the acquisition and display of pieces for museum or gallery collections. This role requires careful planning and organisation as well as creativity. Curators arrange the layout and lighting of displays as well as organising the restoration, examination and classification of items.

This role will see you have creative control over exciting exhibitions, become an artistic storyteller and get to handle entire collections of historical treasures.

Anthropology

BA anthropology

The Anthropology major is all about exploring the complexity and diversity of various cultures – from their traditions and beliefs to their history and worldview. Professionals in this field get to create a better future through important positions in consultancy firms, councils, government departments and more.

Today’s anthropologists not only work in exotic locations all over the world, but they also work in a variety of fields and careers. You could make a difference working as a community officer and act as a facilitator to gain input from the community for projects, or become a cultural safety training facilitator and do meaningful work to improve the quality of service delivered by healthcare providers to Indigenous communities.

“My anthropology courses have allowed me to learn about different cultures, rituals and practices that I wasn't very aware of before studying at UQ. The best thing about my program has been learning new things every day.”

– Dipanshu Sharma, Anthropology Major

There are so many exciting prospects available with a major in anthropology. A few of the possible career paths you could take include:

  • community development officer
  • consumer and user experience researcher
  • cultural safety training facilitator
  • Indigenous art and heritage adviser
  • museum administrator
  • native title anthropologist
  • policy adviser
  • ranger coordinator
  • regional anthropologist.

Career spotlight: museum administrator

A museum administrator takes care of the business aspects of the institution. They have a wide range of responsibilities – depending on their title and the organisation, these might include developing budgets, public relations management, ensuring education goals are being met, fundraising, general admin work and staff employment.

Museum administrators should thrive under pressure, have strong communication and organisation skills, and be able to multitask and keep the museum running efficiently.

Archaeology

BA archaeology major

If you’re interested in learning about cultures both past and present, majoring in archaeology will be the start of one great adventure. Get a glimpse into the past of ancient human civilisations through examining settlements across the globe. You could be jetted off to visit historic locations around the globe, excavate artifacts at dig sites, view artifacts in museums or work with materials in a lab. There are few jobs similar that offer potential to uncover real-life mysteries and make new discoveries while travelling the world.

“I had so many opportunities because of my honours, including archaeological field work, teaching and research in academia. I've travelled overseas to excavate in the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa and also went to the Natural History Museum in London.”

– Maddy Green, Archaeology Major

It's no secret a major in archaeology could set you up with an exciting career path. A few potential roles are:

  • archaeologist
  • archaeology consultant
  • heritage consultant.

Philosophy

BA philosophy major

Are you fuelled by a desire to analyse the ways in which humans experience the world? The study of philosophy is an enduring interest that is not only important but also highly enjoyable. A philosophy major will benefit you no matter which direction your career takes you, as the ability to use critical thinking and logical analysis is vital in countless industries. It might inspire you to work in government by researching policies or lead the way on human research ethics. Or perhaps you might decide to go into education and pass on your love of philosophy to future students.

“Philosophy at UQ has provided me with the structure to allow my thinking to flourish, but it has also given me the freedom to move outside of the existing and pursue my own areas of interest through PhD and other research.”

– Simone Thornton, Philosophy Major

Your philosophy major in the UQ Bachelor of Arts can set you up for the career of your dreams. Here is just an example of some of the career opportunities waiting for you:

  • clinical research coordinator
  • conflict adviser
  • human research ethics officer
  • philosophy teacher
  • policy and research officer.

Career spotlight: conflict adviser

Conflict advisers provide analysis of conflict and convert their investigation into effective strategies and programs that work to reduce conflict and build harmony in the environment. Advisers balance the line between peacebuilding and humanitarian assistance to enhance an organisation’s impact and influence.  

This is a highly rewarding profession that requires leadership, strong communication, problem-solving skills and the ability to cope in stressful situations.

Ancient languages

BA ancient languages majors

With a UQ Bachelor of Arts, you can major in:

The study of ancient languages helps bring a greater understanding to contemporary language and culture. Taking the valuable analytical and linguistic skills learned, you can demonstrate your intercultural awareness in a modern workplace environment. With an ancient Greek or Latin major, you may take the path into education to instil your passion into future generations, specialise in languages, or do important work as a historical adviser or consultant.

 “While studying, the UQ Art Museum allowed me to gain practical skills. That, combined with my degree, led me to my first role in Australia’s leading commercial gallery and a career that I am deeply passionate about.”

– Nicholas Smith, Art History Major

Use your UQ Bachelor of Arts to turn your passion for ancient languages into a profession such as:

  • classics teacher
  • heritage consultant
  • historical adviser
  • historical researcher
  • language analyst
  • language specialist.

Indigenous studies

Bachelor of Arts Indigenous Studies major

With your UQ Bachelor of Arts, you can major in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies.

There are many wonderful industry fields you can explore that build on the subject matter taught in Indigenous studies. This opportunity to examine historical and emerging issues that impact the lives of Indigenous people across the globe can lead to positions working as an Indigenous rights or community adviser, helping tight-knit communities as a community engagement officer, or taking on a role in the education sector.

While there are so many more career options available with a UQ Bachelor of Arts, here is a short list of some professions that our graduates have enjoyed:

  • community engagement officer
  • cultural support liaison
  • education administration officer
  • employment consultant
  • Indigenous community adviser
  • Indigenous rights adviser.

Australian studies

BA Australian studies minor

A minor in Australian studies will lead you to explore Australia’s past, present and future, taking a deep dive into the nation’s identity, inhabitants, culture and diversity. Whether it’s a passion for social justice or a love for travelling, the career opportunities that come out of this minor are varied and unique. You might choose to make a difference by working on policies to create true positive change for a better future. Or perhaps you’ll set your sights on promoting the beauty of Australia and make your mark in the tourism industry.

As a UQ graduate who minored in Australian studies, your career opportunities will include:

  • policy adviser
  • tourism and hospitality manager
  • tourism operations coordinator
  • travel consultant.

The study of history is essential to learn and understand how people and society behaved so we develop a greater understanding of our world and pave the way for a better future. With diverse and interesting career pathways available, your passion for exploring the past can easily become a fulfilling profession with a UQ Bachelor of Arts.

Discover other passions you can follow with a Bachelor of Arts or further explore the UQ BA.

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