Australian Indigenous Studies

Sea of hands

An undergraduate major or minor in Australian Indigenous studies

Indigenous people have a vital role in Australia’s past, present and future. It is important for all Australians to develop an understanding of Indigenous peoples’ cultures, societies, languages and history as we work to build a common future.

Whether your career is in law, business, the sciences, the arts, development, policy, public administration or other areas, you will meet and work with Indigenous Australians. An undergraduate major or minor in Indigenous studies will prepare you to appreciate the breadth and depth of Indigenous cultures, and to undertake effective engagements and collaborations.

Australian Indigenous studies is concerned with the place of Indigenous people in Australian society, in social, cultural, economic, political and historical terms. ANU offers the opportunity to undertake Indigenous studies as an undergraduate major or minor. The subject is interdisciplinary, and it is possible to undertake courses from anthropology, archaeology, art, gender studies, history, linguistics, music, public policy and sociology. 

Indigenous studies students at ANU will engage with distinguished scholars working with Indigenous people across Australia to develop and deepen their understandings of peoples, populations, and communities. 

Why study Australian Indigenous studies at ANU?

The ANU has a commitment to teaching and research in Indigenous studies, and is home to the Australian Centre for Indigenous History, National Centre for Indigenous Studies, the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, and the Tjabal Indigenous Higher Education Centre. Indigenous researchers and visiting fellows engage in topical research across many disciplines. The University is ranked number one in Australia and 22nd in the world (QS World University Rankings 2016-17).

Topics available for study in the Indigenous Studies major or minor include:

  • Anthropology of traditional and contemporary Indigenous societies
  • Archaeology and cultural heritage management
  • Art and visual culture
  • Australian languages
  • Development studies
  • Gender studies 
  • Indigenous Australian history
  • Language policy and politics
  • Music and media
  • Peoples, populations and communities
  • Public policy development and implementation
  • Trauma and memory studies. 

For more information, see the list of CAEPR undergraduate courses.

Career opportunities

Graduates with a major or minor in Indigenous studies may expect to find employment in Indigenous and community organisations, NGOs, arts organisations, memory institutions, private enterprise, and Commonwealth, state and local government departments. Those wishing to pursue higher degree studies by coursework or research can take advantage of the many postgraduate programs offered by ANU in Indigenous-related fields across a wide number of disciplines. 

Further information

For information on Australian Indigenous Studies, visit ANU Programs and courses.

For further information on undergraduate study at ANU, visit the College of Arts and Social Sciences Undergraduate page


For further information on undergraduate coursework in Indigenous Studies, contact the CAEPR Centre Administrator, Ms Tracy Deasey.

Phone: (02) 6125 0587 (International 61-2-6125 0587)
Fax: (02) 6125 9730 (International 61-2-6125 9730)


Updated:  12 December 2017/Responsible Officer:  Centre Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications