The name was adopted by the City of Melville Council in December 1968. The creek was named after an early settler, Lt Henry Bull to whom a grant of 1.20 km² of nearby land was made in 1830. A larger grant of 5.20 km² later in that year was made to Thomas Middleton; it is this land that today makes up the largest part of the suburb. The name, Bull Creek is also often, but incorrectly, written as the single word 'Bullcreek'.
Bull Creek is well served with both government and private schools. The suburb has two state primary schools, Bull Creek Primary and Oberthur Primary. All Saints' College is a private school situated on the northern side of the suburb. Bull Creek is served by three state government high schools; Rossmoyne Senior High School takes students residing north of Parry Avenue, Leeming Senior High School takes students from south of Parry Avenue. Students living south of Parry Avenue and east of Wheatley Drive can choose to go to Willetton Senior High School. There are also a number of private schools in the nearby suburbs of Bateman , Murdoch and Winthrop. Bull Creek is two kilometres from Murdoch University.