She attended the University of Archaeology during the late 1940s and early 1950s. In 1961 an opening for an Iron Age specialist was created at the University of Sydney, and she was recommended for the post. She and her then-husband Michael travelled to Australia, where she taught as a lecturer, specialising in Iron Age Cyprus and Anatolia.
In 1966 she began to look for sites close to Sydney where her students could get basic training in archaeological techniques. In 1967 she began running excavations at the site of Irrawang Pottery, the pottery works owned by James King at Irrawang just north of Newcastle. This project is considered to be one of the first examples of historical archaeology in Australia.
Birmingham was instrumental in forming the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology (ASHA) which was founded as the Australian Society for Historical Archaeology in 1970. ASHA began at the University of Sydney and developed because of Birmingham's enthusiasm for historical archaeology. She edited early issues of the ASHA Newsletter, organised special publications and the Conferences. She served as the society's first secretary, and later served as president.
In 1973, Birmingham and historian Ian Jack proposed teaching a course in historical archaeology at the University of Sydney. As detailed by Jack, the course proposal was fought by the conservative members of the archaeology department; however the proposal was accepted and the first course in historical archaeology in Australia was taught by Birmingham, Jack, geographer Dennis Jeans and historian Ken Cable. The course also had a significant fieldwork component to give student essential practical training.
- Zagora (1972), (Birmingham et al.), Sydney Up, ISBN 0-424-06200-3
- Old Sydney Burial Ground 1974, (Birmingham et al.), Australian Society for Historical Archaeology, ISBN 0-909797-05-6
- Australian Pioneer Technology. Sites and Relics (1979), (Birmingham et al.), Heinemann Educational Australia, ISBN 0-85859-185-5
- 10,000 Years of Sydney Life (1980), (Peter Stanbury, with Judy Birmingham, editor), The Macleay Museum, the University of Sydney, ISBN 0-909635-17-X
- Industrial archaeology in Australia: Rural industry (1983), (Judy Birmingham), Heinemann Publishers Australia, ISBN 0-85859-319-X
- Castle Hill Archaeological Report (1984), (Birmingham et al.), ISBN 0-7240-8366-9
- Papers in Australian Historical Archaeology, (Birmingham et al.)
- Archaeology and Colonisation (1988), (Birmingham et al.), American Society of Civil Engineers, ISBN 0-909797-15-3
- Transformations. The Art of Recycling (2000), (Birmingham et al.) ISBN 0-902793-45-4
-  Tracy Ireland and Mary Casey, Judy Birmingham in Conversation, Australasian Historical Archaeology, 24, 2006
- Lawrence, S. 2006 "Presidents forward", Papers in Honour of Judy Birmingham, Australasian Historical Archaeology, vol 24:1
- Lawrence, S 2002, "Australia" in Orser, Charles E 2002, Encyclopaedia of historical archaeology, Routledge, London ; New York pp 35–38.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-30. Retrieved 2013-07-19. ASHA website, About the awards
- Jack, Ian 2006 "Historical Archaeology, Heritage and the University of Sydney", Australasian Historical Archaeology 24:19–24
-  gettextbooks.co.in (website)