Biography allows us to explore some of the most fascinating questions of human existence. How do we come to be who we are? What is the essence of a life and character, and can we as biographers really know that essence? How are narratives of lives shaped by differences of culture, class or gender? Biographical work helps us understand our history in new ways, and can cast fresh light on whole realms of political and social change. Not surprisingly, biographical approaches are growing ever more popular in a wide range of fields, from history to heritage, politics to art.
The Master of Biographical Research and Writing (MBRW) is an initiative of the National Centre of Biography. This postgraduate coursework program equips students with a thorough theoretical and critical grounding in biography, and with the skills and opportunity to undertake their own biographical projects.
The program is relevant for graduates wishing to undertake a specialist postgraduate program in biography, professionals working in a variety of cultural institutions who are finding biography to be of increasing relevance to their professional practice, independent scholars wishing to pursue biographical projects, intending PhD students interested in undertaking postgraduate research in biography, and anyone wishing to broaden their knowledge and understanding of past lives.
Graduates of the MBRW program may go on to careers in writing and publishing biography, in the editorial and publishing worlds, in cultural and visual arts, in the public history and heritage sector, in film, radio and television, in education, or in the library and archives sector.
Required courses (12 units total)
- Writing Biography
- Reading and Writing History OR History and Theory
Elective courses (36 units total)
- Oral History, Memory and Life Stories
- Biography and Society
- Digital Histories and Biographies
- Biographical Practices
- ADB Internship
- Biographical Research Project
Students may apply to undertake this program full time (1 year) or part time (2 years). Applications from distance education students are welcome. Courses in the program involve a combination of online learning and short intensive sessions held in Canberra. All intensive sessions will take place over a two-week period in June/July.
Applicants should have obtained a bachelor degree with honours in history or a cognate field from an approved tertiary education institution OR a bachelor degree without honours in history or a cognate field supplemented by a minimum of three years of relevant professional experience.
For more information on fees see www.anu.edu.au/sas/fees/index.php
Program convenor: Professor Melanie Nolan
T: (02) 6125 2131