Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Social Science

Arts and Social Science at Western

This double degree program is designed for students whose interests span the Arts and Social Sciences.

It will give you the skills and versatility to work across a range of academic and professional disciplines, including the opportunity to develop global perspectives and communication skills.

You need to include a Social Science Major, so you can design your own academic program within the Bachelor of Social Science course structure.

Arts at Western graduate Melissa Chiu is recognised as one of the world's leading authorities on modern and contemporary Asian art.

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Western is a Top 150 University in the world for Sociology (QS World University Ranking).

Course structure

Our course structure is outlined in our handbook. Here you can view all of the units (subjects) you will be studying.

Social Anthropology is the study of humans and the cultures they create.

The major in Anthropology within the Bachelor of Social Science offers students the opportunity to examine social patterns and practices across cultures, to discover similarities and differences between cultures, and to understand the processes by which humans organise and create meaning.

Areas of focus include the development of anthropology as a discipline; globalisation and culture; power and politics; gender and sexuality; identity and belonging; ethnography and ethnographic methods; indigenous peoples and nation states. Specific attention is given to cultures of Australasia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, and to cross cultural interactions, at both global and local levels.

The major seeks to equip students with multi-cultural knowledge as well as to provide a thorough grounding in research methods and ethics with utility in a variety of professional and academic contexts.

The Child and Community major provides a comprehensive introduction to a range of social sciences related areas and a strong grounding in contemporary issues facing children and their families from a critical perspective.

This major provides a good foundation for people interested in a career in the human services with a particular interest in children.

This criminology major offers students the opportunity to study crime and criminal justice in a critical way that particularly stresses social and cultural definitions of criminality and the reactions to it.

Areas of focus include criminal justice institutions and practices; the development of criminology as a discipline and its various strands; forms and patterns of victimisation; crime prevention strategies and debates; aspects of juvenile justice; the evolution of prisons and different forms of punishment; law enforcement and surveillance; violence, gender and crime; cultural depictions of crime and contemporary debates in criminology.

Students in this major examine the geography of contemporary Australian cities and regions. Geography is the integrated study of people, places and environments.

The cutting edge interests of today’s Geographers include post-colonialism, the emergence of global information economies, indigenous issues, class and cultural disparities, population movement, sexuality and space, and the global diffusion of popular culture. Urban Studies is a newer discipline focused on social justice within the city, through its critical assessments of peoples’ access to scarce urban resources, such as housing, transport, education and employment.

The political, economic, and cultural forces that shape cities and urban policy are the key concerns of the Urban Studies curriculum.

These applied interests in urban well-being and city structure are the intellectual basis for the Urban Planning profession. The Geography and Urban Studies major is a compulsory component of the University’s accredited Planning course.

In a highly mobile world (migration, tourism, media and communications, travel and transport) and in contemporary life where the preservation of historical and natural environments present as one of the major challenges facing all societies, heritage has become a touchstone for social and cultural identity, our understanding of modernity, peace and development, our senses of citizenship, custodianship and community. At the same time heritage places have become significant tourist destinations and so in a world of flows and networks, the heritage-tourism relationship is a critical one. In the 21st century it is impossible to disentangle the two. This major introduces contemporary heritage issues and provides an in-depth understanding of tourism as a social phenomenon. It enables a critical examination of the relationship between heritage and tourism in number of settings within Australia (including Indigenous Australia) and internationally. Graduates with a heritage and tourism major can contemplate careers within a diverse range of government, non-government organization and businesses that require understanding, insight and skills related to heritage and tourism.

Available on Parramatta and Penrith campuses.

The Peace and Development Studies major is concerned with inequalities of power and opportunity that lead to international and local conflict, uneven development, social dislocation and environmental degradation. This major examines the structural causes of racist and gendered violence, environmental crises, forced migration, poverty, resource conflict, and inter-generational inequity.

You will be introduced to theories and methods for identifying, measuring and resolving conflict and environmental degradation. Constructive solutions include empowerment and self-determination, sustainable living, peace building and conflict resolution strategies. 

The major is organised around three fields of inquiry: structural inequality, social justice and human rights; development and sustainability; and peace and humanitarian responses/ actions.

During your studies, you will engage with social theory within an interdisciplinary and applied framework of important civic and global issues.

Available on Bankstown and Penrith campuses.

Sociology is the study of society and culture. Using diverse methods, practices and theories, it helps us understand social life. Sociology is fundamental to the social sciences because the quality of life of every human on the planet is directly or indirectly influenced by their relative position within, and responses to, society.

This major in Sociology provides you with a thorough training in the methods, theories and select leading areas of contemporary sociology. In the Sociology major, you will have opportunities to study particular themes from a sociological perspective, including inequalities, deviance, identities, gender, religion, medicine and health care, ethnicity and migration, and the family, among other possibilities.

A Bachelor of Arts with a major in Sociology will prepare you for both employment and a research higher degree.

Language majors will enable you to develop an appropriate level of proficiency in a second language, which may be used for professional purposes such as teaching, interpreting and translation, business or international relations.

If you are undertaking a language major in Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian or Japanese you will be able to use the language in question according to its grammatical and pragmatic principles, communicate with native speakers appropriately in the spoken as well as the written mode, and demonstrate an understanding of the cultures and societies associated with the language.

Available on Bankstown and Parramatta campuses.

Language majors will enable you to develop an appropriate level of proficiency in a second language, which may be used for professional purposes such as teaching, interpreting and translation, business or international relations.

If you are undertaking a language major in Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian or Japanese you will be able to use the language in question according to its grammatical and pragmatic principles, communicate with native speakers appropriately in the spoken as well as the written mode, and demonstrate an understanding of the cultures and societies associated with the language.

The Creative Writing major provides students the opportunity to produce their own creative writing and to edit and publish their work. Students study with professional authors, editors and publishers from the Writing and Society Research Centre and staff from the School of Humanities and Communication Arts. In addition, students have the opportunity to study contemporary approaches to language and literary studies, including literary criticism and theory, linguistic analysis, genre and textual study, and to read and examine a wide selection of modern and classic literatures. Career prospects include publishing, editing, teaching, writing and advertising.
 

Cultural and Social Analysis is an interdisciplinary major developing knowledge, research skills and analytic capacities relevant to understanding and interpreting landscapes of cultural diversity and social difference in our contemporary world, both in terms of the broad contours, as well as specific micro-social environments. This major provides grounding in contemporary debates and methodologies in cultural studies and social theory, and draws on various disciplines including history, sociology, communications, and linguistics. Topics include popular culture, everyday urban life, cultural and social impacts of scientific theories and new technologies, multiculturalism, and contemporary spirituality. Study in this area is relevant for work involving commentary and analysis of contemporary social issues and cultural practices (e.g. journalism, teaching, activism) and fields concerned with designing, delivering and evaluating cultural and artistic productions, and education, communication, welfare or health services, in culturally diverse communities.

The Economy and Markets major provides a broad pluralist perspective on fundamental aspects of relationships between individuals, firms, institutions and countries. Students will learn how economies function and how public policy and the way organisations behave affect diverse social, economic and environmental problems. Students are introduced to a wide array of competing economic theories, so that they are critically informed about the ways in which they can transform the world. A major in this area prepares students to be active participants in addressing the wide range of problems faced by governments, social organisations and the business community in the domestic and international economies. Students who study economics can expect to develop their analytical and problem solving skills and to be intellectually challenged, whether they view the discipline as providing specific vocational skills or as an area of academic and intellectual interest to them. A major in this area is very highly regarded in the business world and opens up a very large range of career prospects in general business, finance and the public sector.

Available on Bankstown, Parramatta and Penrith campuses.

The English major invites students to explore contemporary approaches to language, literary studies and writing, including literary criticism and theory, linguistic analysis, genre and textual study, and creative writing. The English major focuses on the imaginative workings of language, and students can study a wide selection of modern and classic literature, as well as the relationships between written texts and other media such as film and information technology.

Students also have the opportunity to produce their own creative writing and to edit and learn how to publish their work. Career prospects include publishing, editing, teaching, writing and advertising.

Available on Parramatta campus.

The global economy is becoming increasingly important for organisations seeking out new opportunities to expand their customer base and develop partnerships.

Managers who are well-versed in the needs of doing business internationally and who can exploit these opportunities will therefore play an integral role in any such corporation.

This major provides you with the detailed knowledge of the international dimension of business and the necessary understanding of the workings of that market system.

 Available on Bankstown, Parramatta and Penrith campuses.

Since the revival of humanist thought in the Renaissance, universities have placed studies in history and political thought at the centre of exploring what it is to be human.

At the heart of the History and Political Thought major are four compulsory units, which introduce the student to the modern history of humanity (since 1500). Although Europe is very prominent in the major, you will be invited to compare its history to the histories of Asia, Africa and the Americas.

The major culminates in a capstone unit in students’ final semester, discussing historical theories and methods. A wide range of elective units covers European, American, Australian and Asian history and political thought, and includes thematic units which range widely over time and place.

Available on Bankstown, Parramatta and Penrith campuses.

What does it mean to live in Indigenous Australia? The Indigenous Australian Studies major offers you the exciting opportunity to acquire key cultural competencies that will enable you to understand and work more effectively with Indigenous Australians in professions such as the arts, communications, media, education, government and non-government, policy, health, sciences, and community services.

The Indigenous Australian Studies major addresses the cultural, historical, social and economic issues affecting Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and relationships.

Language majors will enable you to develop an appropriate level of proficiency in a second language, which may be used for professional purposes such as teaching, interpreting and translation, business or international relations.

If you are undertaking a language major in Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian or Japanese you will be able to use the language in question according to its grammatical and pragmatic principles, communicate with native speakers appropriately in the spoken as well as the written mode, and demonstrate an understanding of the cultures and societies associated with the language.

Available on Parramatta and Bankstown campuses.

This major explores the links between leadership and entrepreneurship in the context of dynamic domestic and global environments. The major introduces the concepts of change and innovation as they relate to organisational transformation of businesses. You will deal with conflicting viewpoints to understand the complexity of the organisational relationships involved in change and innovation.

To prepare you for management roles, the major examines the challenges associated with developing sustainable, innovative and creative organisations, and includes assessments that facilitate engagement with elements of organisational change and innovation.

The major develops an understanding of how to initiate a business venture, taking advantages of perceived opportunities and mobilising the required resources. To this end, different theories and perspectives on leadership and entrepreneurship are examined, and you will be encouraged to apply them to real-life situations as a way of preparing to be future leaders and entrepreneurs.

 Available on Bankstown and Parramatta campuses.

International English examines English in its many varieties with a focus on the international development of the language, extending far beyond native English speakers, and identifying features of the language essential to academic and professional performance.

The major provides a basis for international students who may intend to teach English in different countries, or enter other language-centred professions, or for local students intending to pursue post-graduate qualifications in education or wanting to improve English skills.

The major provides studies in the varieties and structures of English, informed by specific studies in linguistics, English teaching and bilingualism, and language acquisition.

 Available on Bankstown and Parramatta campuses.

This major has been designed to meet the needs of Australian government, business and society, to engage the states and peoples of Asia at all levels in pursuit of national interests and as part of the globalisation process.

It provides you with the opportunity to study contemporary Asia, in addition to the rich and diverse histories, politics, cultures and languages of Asian countries, as well as the international issues affecting Australia’s interests and role in the region and in the world at large.

The major area also includes a range of units concerned with the United States and Europe as well as with Asia itself, and units in international relations covering other parts of the world. It seeks to produce graduates with a broad, liberal education, and with the skills to mediate between Australia and the world in general, and Asia in particular through political, economic, commercial, cultural, diplomatic and strategic links.

You are encouraged to undertake a sub-major in an Asian language in conjunction with the major. 

Available on Bankstown campus.

In this major you will engage in interdisciplinary study essential to an understanding of Islam, past and present. The area of study balances historical and modern Islamic studies and research methods. One of the keys to Islamic Studies is ‘relevance’ to contemporary Australian society, but relevance can only come from a sound comprehension of past traditions in Islamic scholarship and their socio-historical contexts.

Preparation for graduate study is also a key objective of this program, with its focus on developing critical and interdisciplinary research skills through a combination of approaches.

Language majors will enable you to develop an appropriate level of proficiency in a second language, which may be used for professional purposes such as teaching, interpreting and translation, business or international relations.

If you are undertaking a language major in Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian or Japanese you will be able to use the language in question according to its grammatical and pragmatic principles, communicate with native speakers appropriately in the spoken as well as the written mode, and demonstrate an understanding of the cultures and societies associated with the language.

Available on Bankstown campus.

Language is fundamental to the human experience. Through the study of how language works, you will make contact with fundamental philosophical, sociocultural, and psychological questions about what it means to be human.

Linguistics prepares you with a foundation for many careers, including early childhood and primary teaching (with further study), policy analysis, communication, and social services in culturally diverse communities.

You will also gain the analytical tools of empirical science, including the ability to break complex problems into components with tractable solutions and to evaluate theories on the basis of empirical facts. These skills prepare you for success in postgraduate studies and careers in research, analytics, business and law.

Available on Penrith campus.

Musicology is the academic study of music which focuses on the history, theory and cultural contexts of music. You will focus on repertoire and media of the 20th and 21st centuries and also study music from earlier historical periods. You will gain practical experience in library research and retrieval.

Available on Penrith campus.

Music is a universal art form. It transcends geographical, national, political, cultural and racial boundaries, and can evoke the full spectrum of emotions in listeners.

Music encourages introspection, inspires social awareness and unity, and has even been known to inform policy.

The Music Performance major provides you the opportunity to develop your professional and creative potential in making and appreciating a range of different types of music. You will gain practical experience in performance as a soloist and in groups, in composition, audio production, film music, and collaboration.

Available on Parramatta and Bankstown campuses.

A major in Organisations and Work provides you with the skills to initiate valued change and contribute in the complex field of management. The development of strategic knowledge provides strong analytical outcomes directed at understanding the impact managers have on organisational decision making.

This major also aims to instil values and attitudes that support leaders in judgements about balancing the pursuit of organisational objectives with creating opportunities for developing people’s capacities.  

Available on Bankstown and Parramatta campuses.

Philosophy has always asked the ‘big questions’, for example, about the limits of our knowledge, the best way that humans can live together, how we understand the world around us, and what is ‘the good life’.

Our philosophy major enables you to develop particular skills and attributes – such as clear thinking, capacities to assess arguments and values, and sound understanding of important philosophical views – that have always been essential to university scholarship and which continue to be valuable for graduates in both public and private life.

Available on Bankstown, Parramatta and Penrith campuses.

The Psychological Studies major comprises units in the discipline of psychology that focus on the field of inquiry, using scientific techniques and methods to understand and explain behaviour and experience.

Units in the program are drawn from the following core areas of psychology: brain and behaviour, learning, motivation and emotion, social psychology, lifespan development, perception, and cognitive processes.

Fees and delivery

Fees: Varies depending on units selected. View available units in our handbook. We have developed a student contribution fee calculator to help you work out what your contribution amount is per unit.

Student contribution calculator [XLS, 133 KB]

Delivery: On campus

Fees: AUD $23,800*

Delivery: On campus

 

 

Start your unlimited journey today.

"You’ll cover such a wide range of subjects, gain great information and life skills that will definitely be of use in the future."

— Nadine Sabih. Bachelor of Arts.

Apply now and start your unlimited journey.

The tuition fees quoted above are the fees for the normal full-time study load of the course (80 credit points) per annum. International students will be subject to a variable fee regime; i.e. enrolled students will be required to pay fees during their course based on the approved fee for each calendar year. Fee changes (if any) will occur at 1 January each calendar year. Students who extend their course past the normal finish date of the course will be required to pay additional fees based on the prevailing fee level. Western Sydney University is a multi-campus institution. The University reserves the right to alter the location of its courses between campuses and other locations as necessary. Students should be aware of the possibility of change of location for the whole or part of courses for which they enrol and should plan for the need to travel between Western Sydney campuses.