Stuart Macintyre was educated in Melbourne and undertook doctoral studies in history at Cambridge. He has held appointments at Cambridge, Murdoch, the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne.
Since 1990 he has been the Ernest Scott Professor of History and in 2002 was made a Laureate Professor of the University of Melbourne. He was Dean of the Faculty of Arts from 1999 to 2006 and in 2007-8 was visiting professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University.
From 1996 to 1998 he was president of the Australian Historical Association and from 2002 to 2004 he chaired the Humanities and Creative Arts panel of the Australian Research Council. He is currently a member of the Advisory Council of the Australian Research Council, and from 2007 to 2009 was President of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. From 2009 he has been a professorial research fellow of the Australian Research Council.
He served terms on the councils of the National Library of Australia and the State Library of Victoria. Stuart Macintyre is a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. From 2009 he has been assisting the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority in the preparation of a national curriculum for history in Australian schools.