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Human behaviour, society and social justice

Understand society and emerging social issues
Gain the skills and knowledge to make a difference in people's lives through social work, policy development or peace and conflict studies, or deepen your insights into society through cultural, gender or Indigenous studies.

Our human behaviour, society and social justice coursework includes studies in anthropology, culture, diversity, gender, sociology, social work, social policy, human and community services and Indigenous studies. These disciplines will give you the skills and knowledge required to promote social change by empowering individuals, groups and communities.  

Why study human behaviour, society and social justice with us?

  • We are ranked 21st in the world for development studies, 27th in the world for social policy and 28th in the world for anthropology.*
  • Practical experience is a key component of our social work degrees. As part of these degrees, you will undertake fieldwork placements, supervised by highly skilled and experienced practitioners. Our qualifying social work degrees are also accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers. 
  • We offer a broad range of student placements, allowing you to gain hands on, workplace experience.
  • As an undergraduate student you can choose from our arts and social sciences majors as well as more than 100 majors from the University’s shared pool, allowing you to gain expertise in a range of disciplines.
  • You can balance your workload with our flexible study options, such as part-time study for eligible students.** 
  • We offer a  wide range of scholarships  and prizes designed to recognise potential, assist those in need and reward high achievement.

*QS World University World Rankings by Subject 2018

**Please refer to individual course requirements and visa details (for international students) regarding eligibility for part-time study.

Our study offering

Anthropology analyses what human cultures have in common and how they differ. Learn about contemporary lives and issues in the world today, including: healing systems; religious traditions; gender, the body and sexuality; forms of marriage and family; international development; and Indigenous cultures. 

Undergraduate 

*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.  

Research

We offer three research degrees in Anthropology and you will need to have a substantial background in this area to be eligible to enrol. 

Criminology is devoted to the study of crime and its causes, deviance, social control and the operation of the criminal justice system, examining topics such as policing, youth justice, prisons and punishment, surveillance, crime and media, Indigenous justice, forensics, and corporate and state crime.

Undergraduate 

*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.

Cultural Studies is concerned with how we understand ourselves, others and our place in the world. Learn about the forms and meanings of everyday life, focusing on questions of identity, meaning, representation, policy formations and power.

Undergraduate 

*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.

Postgraduate

Understand the challenges of sustainable human development on a local, national and global scale. This degree provides theoretical foundations and opportunities for practice-based understanding of development policy, programs and outcomes. 

Postgraduate 

Diversity Studies offers you an applied understanding of cultural diversity in its many forms. Learn about the experiences of various groups of people, including Indigenous peoples, migrants, people of colour, women, and those of non-normative sexualities or identities. 

Undergraduate 

*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.

Gender Studies allows you to explore how sex and gender are understood and lived. It provides an important framework for considering wide-ranging social issues, including marriage equality, new forms of intimacy, gendered forms of labour, violence, race and representational practices. 

Undergraduate 

*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.

Research  

Studying human and community services involves a combination of policy, practice and research in the human and community services industry. It is designed to equip you with foundational knowledge and skills for entry into the Australian human and community services industry. It also offers you the opportunity to focus on specific fields of practice, including management, community work and violence against women.

Postgraduate 

Human rights combines social, scientific and legal approaches and provides a holistic perspective on human rights and social change. The course addresses human rights violations at local, national, regional and global levels. 

Postgraduate 

Develop a deep understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories and knowledge systems, drawing on history, anthropology, sociology, literature, linguistics, film and health studies. Be taught by Indigenous and non-Indigenous academics from across the University and experts from the wider community, and develop your knowledge of the many voices, perspectives and priorities of Indigenous peoples and communities.

Undergraduate 

*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.

Peace and Conflict Studies focuses on the interconnections between peace, conflict, justice and human rights. From conflict transformation after mass violence to the role of the media in peace building, Peace and Conflict Studies explores the intellectual and practical challenges of attaining peace with justice. 

Postgraduate 

Research

Social policy is concerned with a range of questions including: How will wealth and wellbeing be distributed in the 21st century? Do social policies challenge or reinforce inequality? How does Australia compare to other nations on measures of welfare? 

Undergraduate 

*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.

Research  

A degree in social work prepares students for employment in a complex, diverse and changing environment. According to the International Federation of Social Work definition of the profession, human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work. 

Undergraduate 

Postgraduate 

Research 

*A professional qualification that is accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Socio-Legal Studies is the study of legal ideas, practices and institutions in their social, historical and political contexts. It explores the ways laws are made and enforced as well as the impact of legal practices on our everyday lives and the organisation of society. You will learn to understand how the law operates across different societies, and gain research and analytical skills that are highly desired by employers in private industry, non-profit organisations, and the government sector.

Undergraduate  

*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.

Sociologists study social life, institutions and social change, explore how the modern world came into being and how it might develop in the future. Studying Sociology will enable you to recognise, research and analyse the dynamics of power and inequality in our everyday lives and the organisation of society. 

Undergraduate 

*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.

Research  

Where can studies in human behaviour, society and social justice lead you? 

Our wide range of courses across the area of human behaviour, society and social justice can open the doors to inspiring and rewarding career opportunities.  

Career pathways:

  • Aboriginal Community liaison officer
  • Advocate for victims 
  • Anthropologist 
  • Community development worker
  • Correctional officer 
  • Counsellor 
  • Cultural heritage specialist

 

  • Equality and diversity officer 
  • Grants officer
  • Journalist
  • Legal aid lawyer
  • Roles withing human rights organisations and other not-for-profit organisations
  • Social worker 
  • Youth worker

 

Kasumi Higewake
Kasumi Higewake – Bachelor of Social Work student
"As a social worker, you can have an impact on every client relationship. In this field, technology can’t solve everything – professional problem-solving skills are needed. A degree in social work gives me the opportunity to have a life-changing impact on an intimate scale through counselling clients, and potentially on a larger scale through engaging with the public to promote human rights.”
Download the undergraduate course guide (pdf, 4.8MB)