This is a broadly based, inter-disciplinary four-year double degree offering flexibility and choice within a wide range of offerings in the social sciences, as well as studies of International Relations and Asian Studies and an Asian language.
Applications are now open
Apply direct to Western and discover your unlimited.
Our online application portal makes starting your university journey easy. You can apply for our undergraduate and postgraduate courses seven days a week, and can log back in to change your preferences as many times as you like before applications close.
International Studies and Social Science at Western
This degree seeks to equip you with all the interdisciplinary and specialist skills and knowledge that you will need on entering the workforce or on proceeding to advanced study.
There is a core of 11 units offering an introduction to the humanities and a solid grounding in the social sciences.
You can choose a major from the social sciences; a major in International Relations and Asian Studies, and a sub-major in an Asian language. The double degree provides a wide base for understanding issues in the complex, culturally diverse and ever-changing social and international environment of the 21st century both in Australia and Asia.
Learn from the best
Western is a Top 150 University in the world for Sociology (QS World University Ranking).
The course structure is outlined in our handbook. Here you can view all of the units (subjects) you will be studying.
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 students with the opportunity to study contemporary Asia, as well as the rich and diverse histories, politics, cultures and languages of Asian countries and 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 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. Students are encouraged to undertake a sub-major in an Asian language in conjunction with the major.
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.
The Peace and Development Studies major is concerned with methods for promoting peace, human rights and sustainability. It involves a critical analysis of inequalities of power and opportunity that lead to international and local conflict, social dislocation and environmental degradation.
Students will examine the structural causes of racist and gendered violence, environmental crises, forced migration, poverty, resource conflict, and inter-generational inequity.
The inter-related network of solutions includes empowerment and self-determination, sustainable living, constructive development, peacemaking and peace building. These require understanding of the theories and method for identifying, measuring and resolving conflict and environmental degradation.
The assumptions and failings of traditional development practice are critically assessed. Students will engage social theory within an interdisciplinary and applied framework, at local, national and international levels.
The major comprises of three fields: 1) structural inequality, social justice & human rights; 2) development and sustainability; 3) peace and humanitarian responses/actions.
The major in Sociology provides students with a thorough training in the methods, theories and select leading areas of contemporary sociology.
As well as units in which methods and theories are taught, through the social science core, students enrolled in the Sociology major will have opportunities to study a number of 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 Social Science (BSS) with a major in Sociology will prepare students for both employment and a research higher degree.
HSC True Reward
At Western, we recognise that you are much more than your ATAR. Our unique Early Offer Program - HSC True Reward, focuses on your HSC subject results that reflect your strongest skills and relevant to the degree you want to do.
Start your unlimited journey today.
As a graduate of International Studies / Social Science, you can look forward to career opportunities in:
- Foreign affairs
- International organisations
- Social advocacy and activism
- Social policy development
Diplomats serve as representatives of their governments and work to protect the interests of their country. Diplomats critically analyse and advise on policies, engage in culture and travel extensively.
Policy Analysts collect and analyse information and data to develop and analyse policies guiding the design, implementation and modification of government and commercial operations and programs.
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.