Cultural Studies Major

Current students: To see the requirements for your major please see the Faculty Handbook for the year in which you enrolled.
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Cultural Studies is an interdisciplinary field concerned with how we understand ourselves, others and our place in the world. Students learn about the forms and meanings of everyday life, focusing on questions of identity, meaning, representation, policy formations and power. Students will learn to analyse how contemporary cultural practices and meanings are produced, circulated, challenged and changed. The Department is committed to equipping students with research and writing skills that will assist in opening up a range of career prospects, for example in policy, education, media, the arts, and advocacy.

About the Cultural Studies major

In a Cultural Studies major, you will gain agility in applying critical theories and frameworks to the world around you. Cultural Studies will provide you with a range of interdisciplinary tools to analyse how cultural practices and meanings are produced, circulated and exchanged. You will be informed and equipped for debates on issues such as cultures of education, policy formations, fashion, shopping and ethical consumption, representation of race in popular culture, and other aspects of everyday life.

A major in Cultural Studies also complements all forms of study in the Humanities and Social Sciences as well as law and legal studies, the sciences, the arts, government, economics, commerce and education.

Pathways through the major

A major in Cultural Studies requires 48 credit points, including 6 credit points from core units and 6 from selective units of study at 1000 level, 12 credit points at 2000 level, 18 credit points of units of study at 3000 level, and 6 credit points of a 3000-level interdisciplinary project unit.

A minor in Cultural Studies requires 36 credit points, including 6 credit points from core units and 6 credit points from selective units of study at 1000 level, 12 credit points of units at 2000 level, and 12 credit points of 3000 level units of study

The units of study for the these pathways can be found in the Cultural Studies subject area table in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Undergraduate Handbook. The table shows units of study on offer in the current handbook year. You may find information regarding a full list of units of study available on the Departmental website.

First year units (1000 level)

In first year you will complete GCST1601 Introduction to Cultural Studies plus at least one of the other units below:

  • GCST1602 Introduction to Gender Studies familiarises students with foundational concepts in the study of gender, including performativity, intersectionality, and queer theory. Students consider how various discourses (such as science, pop culture and critical theory) inform our understanding of gender, and how these understandings situate us in relation to other issues such as sexuality, coloniality, race, and the environment.
  • GCST1603 Screen Cultures and Gender: Film to Apps traces the history of screen cultures from film to apps, focusing on how popular media is used to produce and represent masculinity and femininity. Students will consider cinema, television, videogames, the internet and mobile devices, asking how changing media forms and practices impact on our gendered identities and everyday lives.
  • GCST1604: Introduction to Diversity Studies acquaints students with a range of debates on diversity informed by dis/ability, race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality. It will appeal to students interested in social, economic and cultural marginalisation and new social demands for inclusion.
Second year units (2000 level)

You can choose from a range of options at the 2000 level that are designed to broaden your knowledge of Cultural Studies in areas such as youth, policy, race and representation, and consumer cultures. Progression is achieved through breadth and depth, allowing you to draw upon your existing cultural literacies and providing contextual information about Cultural Studies approaches, while deepening skills and methodological aptitudes.

Third year units (3000 level)

3000 level units of study extend the research and learning experience for students. These options build on first and second year learning to intensify your study of critical cultural theory, social policy and everyday life, including fieldwork and other research methods. This allows for a greater depth of focus either through the use of sophisticated theoretical tools or research methods, or both.

Fourth year - Honours or Advanced Coursework in Cultural Studies

For fourth year Honours or Advanced Coursework in Cultural Studies, you will need to complete the major in Cultural Studies with a (70+) average and a second major in another program of study.