Shape the world we live in and expand your knowledge through theory, research and practical application. Get a deep understanding of our complex, culturally diverse and dynamic world.
This degree is a superior three-year program offering flexibility and choice within a range of offerings in the social sciences.
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Influence the world you live in
The Bachelor of Social Science (Advanced) degree is available to high-performing students and is comprised of an eight unit social science core, an eight unit social science major, four units of advanced study and four electives or an optional international placement.
The degree allows students to pursue studies in the social sciences that accord with their personal and occupational interests. It will equip you with the interdisciplinary and specialist skills, knowledge, and real world experience that you will need in order to be competitive in the workforce or to undertake postgraduate study in the social sciences and related disciplines.
This degree is exclusively for high-achieving students, and will continually challenge you to do even better and build on your academic success. Students in the Advanced degree program are automatically enrolled in The Academy, which offers interdisciplinary leadership programs, professional development and local and international internship and engagement opportunities for students.
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 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.
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 is comprised 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.
Students must maintain a grade point average of 5 or above to remain in the course. Those who do not maintain this average will be transferred to the Bachelor of Social Science.
Fees and delivery
HSC True Reward
At Western, we recognise that this year has been difficult for Year 12 students. Our Early Offer Program – HSC True Reward provides school leavers with much-needed peace of mind about their university entry for next year.
True Reward focuses on the scores that reflect your strongest skills and lead you to excel at university, rather than your scaled ATAR or results impacted by COVID-19.
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As a graduate in Social Sciences, you can look forward to career opportunities in:
- Social advocacy and activism
- Heritage consultant
- Social policy analysis
- Child protection
- Peacekeeping agencies and international aid
- Police work, investigative and intelligence agencies
Human Rights Advocate
Working in Human Rights involves reporting on and attempting to remedy violations of the basic rights of humankind, social, civil, cultural or political. You may visit victims, interact with government leaders and attend trials.
Cultural Tourism Officer
Cultural Tourism Officers act as guides to travellers who want to experience the places, artefacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present, including cultural historic and natural resources.
Working within a heritage organisation, you are responsible for maintaining and caring for heritage listed buildings and other items. You may also be involved in promoting the organisation, managing visitors, preparing reports and conducting research.
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.
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*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.