Message from the Dean
I extend a warm welcome to commencing and continuing students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney.
Our fundamental objective is to help you think more clearly, rigorously and expansively than you ever have before. Whatever particular discipline or program of study you eventually pursue – and we offer more choices of subject areas than just about any other faculty of its kind in Australia – we want you to leave us with the intellectual skills to not only succeed in life, but gain meaning and value from it as well.
We are passionate about the role the humanities and social sciences can play in the world today. We pursue fundamental questions in our disciplines and read across an incredible range of texts and cultural literary traditions. But we also believe there isn't a major challenge we face today that doesn't require the skills and insights honed in our disciplines – whether it is global poverty, war, climate change, multiculturalism or economic reform. Understanding the deep philosophical, historical, social-scientific and cultural dimensions of these challenges is essential if we are going to address them in a constructive and effective way.
You are joining a wonderfully diverse academic community of almost 10,000 students and more than 600 staff. Our students come from around the world and bring with them a vast array of life experiences and perspectives that will enrich and challenge your own. You will also be able to participate in the lively intellectual and social life outside of the classroom that the University of Sydney can offer through its vast array of clubs and societies, as well as the exciting buzz of living in a truly cosmopolitan city.
Doing a degree with us does not mean doing all your study here. The faculty has a wide range of exchange agreements with overseas institutions that enable you to combine your study here with leading universities around the world. This is an exciting opportunity to broaden your horizons even further – and something we encourage our students to take advantage of whenever they can.
Studying at the University of Sydney, whether as your main degree or as a foundation for other degrees, offers you the chance to participate in and contribute to one of the most dynamic faculties of humanities and social sciences in Australia and the world. In doing so, you will be contributing to the generation of knowledge in the humanities and social sciences and helping to shape Australia's future by taking hold of your own.
We are here to help you make the choices about our degrees and programs that will best suit your passions and ambitions. So please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need further help or advice.
Best wishes for an exciting and what I hope will be a life-changing experience at the University of Sydney.
Professor Barbara Caine AM
Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences