With a Bachelor of Social Science from Western, you will have the ability to help shape the world we live in. This degree expands your knowledge through theory, research and practical application and offers you a deep understanding of our complex, culturally diverse and dynamic world. You will gain access to industry-based projects and placements, local and international work experience and build the practical skills that will get you ready to apply your knowledge to the workforce.
Please note: Sydney City start times are July and November 2019 and March 2020.
Some majors available online. WSU Online start times are June and September 2019 and February 2020.
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Join us at Open Day on Sunday 18 August 2019 from 10 till 4.
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Influence the world you'll live in
Western’s Bachelor of Social Science allows you to choose your own majors and sub-majors, including Child and Community, Geography and Urban Studies, Heritage and Tourism, Peace & Development Studies, Sociology, and Criminology & Criminal Justice.
You will gain a greater understanding of the social world in three ways: through social theory, social research and the applications of these ideas and knowledge to practice through social engagement.
Emerge with a wide base for understanding issues in the complex, culturally diverse and ever-changing social environment of the 21st century.
Create a degree as specialised or as broad as your desired career path.
Learn from the best
Western Sydney University has been ranked in the Top 150 Universities for Sociology, in this year's QS World University Rankings by Subject.
Our course structure is outlined in our handbook. Here you can view all of the units (subjects) you will be studying.
Available on Liverpool and Kingswood Campuses.
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.
Available on Liverpool and Parramatta South campuses.
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.
Available on Liverpool, Kingswood and Sydney City campuses.
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.
Available on Parramatta and Penrith campuses.
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.
Available on Parramatta and Kingswood campuses.
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 Kingswood campuses.
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.
Available on Liverpool and Penrith campuses.
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.
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.
Delivery: On campus. Some majors available online.
Fees: AUD $25,000*
Delivery: On campus
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Graduates of this degree find career opportunities in areas including:
- Cultural tourism
- Community work
- Teaching (with further study)
- International development agencies
- Government agencies
- Travel planning and tour directing
Urban and Regional Planners develop and implement plans and policies for the controlled use of urban and rural land, and advise on economic, environmental and social factors affecting land use.
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.
Social Professionals research and study human behaviour, society and institutions from current and historical perspectives, and verbally render spoken statements, and transcribe text.
Business Development Consultant
Business Development Consultants assist their companies to acquire new clients and sell additional products or services to existing clients.
Human Resources Manager
Human Resource Managers plan, organise, direct, control and coordinate the human resource and workplace relations activities within organisations.
Advertising and Marketing Professionals develop and coordinate advertising strategies and campaigns, determine the market for new goods and services, and identify and develop market opportunities for new and existing goods and services.
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Study a double degree
A double-degree gives you the ultimate edge. Be at the forefront of your field.
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Other study options
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.