Indigenous Studies

Why choose Indigenous Studies?

In these courses you’ll be introduced from an interdisciplinary perspective to the societies of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that have interacted with this great southern land for 75,000 years.

Indigenous and non-indigenous teachers will engage you with the major social, political and philosophical topics and processes in history that have shaped Indigenous perspectives of everyday life and Australia at large today. Our dynamic courses and interdisciplinary team will offer a unique learning experience that will range from the practical aspects of working with Indigenous peoples to the contemporary debates in Indigenous perspectives and knowledges.

We will have invited lecturers from community, as well as invited lecturers from overseas. Similarly you will have the opportunity to engage with UQ’s Anthropology Museum, the largest university collection of ethnographic culture materials in Australia, as well with the UQ Art Museum where there is a yearly contemporary Indigenous Art Exhibition and a large contemporary Indigenous art collection.

For an even richer experience, combine courses with your passion for political science, education, sociology, philosophy, archaeology or anthropology, but also those fields as diverse as gender studies, comparative languages and cultures, music, law, architecture, development studies, health, planning or resource management.  

For as long as Indigenous peoples' presence has been understood by white people, it has been misunderstood. From the legal doctrine of Terra Nullius which insisted we were incapable of land ownership, to racial theories insisting we were the missing links between apes and humans, to contemporary debates insisting we aren’t authentically Indigenous; white explanations of Indigenous presence can be variously categorised as dehumanising, invisibilising, fanciful and fraudulent. – Dr Chelsea Bond

Student testimonials

Holly Seglah 
International Law and Globalisation
University of Birmingham

I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to take part in Indigenous Studies and I have thoroughly enjoyed being exposed to a completely new way of approaching knowledge. With no former background in anthropology, I thought I would struggle with the course content but I was pleasantly surprised at how well guided we were taken through the course. I look forward to taking more Indigenous courses at UQ in the future.

Severin Stefanini
Exchange student
Bachelor of Finance

As an exchange student coming from another field of study, attending a course with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit was very interesting. Not only did I learn about the colonial history of Australia but also about current issues faced by Indigenous people in modern Australian society.