Enhance your degree through the arts and social sciences

undergraduate electives

Are you passionate about politics? Interested in exploring history and how this informs today's societies and cultures? Concerned about whether globalisation has been for the better or worse? Wanting to understand the ways in which social identities are constructed in the media? Eager to develop your business communication knowledge?

You can learn all of these things, plus much more, through the extensive range of electives offered by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Whether you are already studying arts and social sciences, or undertaking a degree that provides you with the flexibility to take units of study outside of your host faculty, we invite you to explore our exciting range of electives.

Below is a small list of just some of the many arts and social sciences electives available to undergraduate students in Semester 2 2018. You can find out more about these units and the many others available by visiting the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences' 2018 Undergraduate Handbook.

Important dates and information

Please check the requirements of your degree in detail and the handbook before enrolling.

Undergraduate electives

Unit of study


AMST1001 - Global America

This subject ties together almost all areas of Arts and Social Sciences, from politics, literature, film, cultural studies, international relations and history to rightfully earn its status as the recipient of two Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Teaching.

AMST2606 - Stand Up USA: American Comedy and Humour

This subject looks at comedians such as Dave Chappelle, Samantha Bee and John Stewart to address social and political issues through comedy (and is the only subject on-campus that you can get an HD in for writing about memes!).

ANTH2653 - Economy and Culture

Economic anthropology teaches that there are different kinds of economy, grounded in different forms of value (gift, commodity) and on different rationalities (kinship, chiefly, market). The nature of these differences is explored through ethnographic studies, as are the conflicts that arise from their articulation within a global system. Characterisations of economic practice are as corrupt, irrational, informal, black, profit as the work of the devil, money as bitter are treated as signs of such systemic conflict.

ARCO2008 - Ancient Italy: Etruscans and Romans

Despite being a superpower of the archaic Mediterranean very little historical knowledge of the Etruscan civilisation survives, leaving much to archaeology. This unit will begin by surveying this enigmatic group before moving onto Rome as the Republic begins its expansion.

ARHT1003 - Hollywood: Art, Industry, Entertainment

Since the early 20th century, Hollywood has dominated film screens around the world. This unit considers America's 'dream factory' as profit-oriented industry, mass entertainment, and cinematic art form. It covers key historical developments including the star system, Production Code censorship, New Hollywood, and the franchise film.

BDES3030 - Roman Architecture: Creation-Reception

Western architecture has been profoundly shaped by the technological and stylistic influence of Roman architects. Taught jointly by an archaeologist and an architectural historian, this unit interweaves the creation and reception of Roman buildings from antiquity to the present.

ECOP3022 - Political Economy of Gender

This unit examines gender in the global context. Gender is an important social relation that shapes the political economies of developed and developing countries. The unit focuses on gender relations as a subject of economic thought and analysis. It explores the ways in which contemporary gendered patterns of employment, production, distribution and exchange have been shaped historically and institutionally.

FASS3999 - Interdisciplinary Impact

Interdisciplinarity is a key skill in fostering agility in life and work. This unit provides learning experiences that build students' skills, knowledge and understanding of the application of their disciplinary background to interdisciplinary contexts. In this unit, students will work in teams and develop interdisciplinarity skills through problem-based learning projects responding to 'real world problems'.

INDG1002 - Introduction to Indigenous History

This unit of study focuses on the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples since colonisation, exploring key social, political and legal events, issues and debates, and the people behind them. Students will learn about important historical events and social issues in areas such as civil and political rights, land rights, self-determination and reconciliation, developing an understanding of how these events and issues have shaped the shared history of Australia. The unit introduces a decolonising methodology that will underpin further work in the major.

LNGS2628 - Digital Tools for the Humanities

New technologies are developing at a rapid pace and have enabled significant breakthroughs in collecting, analysing and visualising the textual data that are at the heart of many subjects. This interdisciplinary unit will teach students how to use computer and digital tools for the collection or analysis of spoken/written discourse, for example social media, literature, fieldwork data, corporate communication, foreign language, interviews, news discourse and many more. The emphasis is on easy-to-use tools and no prior technical expertise is required.

PHIL1012 - Introductory Logic

An introduction to modern logic: the investigation of the laws of truth. One essential aspect of good reasoning or argumentation is that it is valid: it cannot lead from true premises to a false conclusion. In this unit we learn how to identify and construct valid arguments, using techniques such as truth tables, models and truth trees. Apart from being a great aid to clear thinking about any subject, knowledge of logic is essential for understanding many areas not only of contemporary philosophy, but also linguistics, mathematics and computing.

PHIL1013 - Society, Knowledge and Self

This unit is an introduction to central issues in political philosophy, theories of knowledge and philosophical conceptions of the self. The first part will consider the state, freedom and political obligation. The second part will examine some of the major theories of knowledge in the modern philosophical tradition. The final section will look at conceptions of the self as a knowing and acting subject.

USSC2601 - US in the World

The ultimate subject for students seeking a career in international relations, and an education in foreign policy; the top three students of this subject present their written policy memos as an official briefing to the US Consul General over a formal lunch.

USSC2604 - Sex, Race and Rock in the USA

This subject looks at the history of social movements in the USA through the work of music artists such as Elvis, Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar. Includes guest speakers such as the co-founder of MTV, the frontwoman of The Jezabels, and the editor of Rolling Stone magazine.