Courses in Societies and Cultures and Human Services

We offer a range of study options from open access courses through to PhD research. Explore a sample below.

FutureLearn Open access online courses.

Undergraduate Degree level courses

The courses below are taught on a rotation in the areas of Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology and Human Services in the Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of Social Science as well as a number of other programs at the University of Newcastle. Please click the links for further details.

Honours Degree Level Courses

Honours in the cluster for Societies and Cultures and Human Services represents an opportunity to add value to either your Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) or Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree by completing a fourth year of research oriented study that will be viewed by future employers as signaling your capacity to conduct high quality socio-cultural research and analysis. It enhances your competitive advantage for employment by allowing you to specialise in particular skills and knowledge. Students who complete their Honours program with First Class results are encouraged to apply for RHD programs. Recent projects undertaken by Honours students in this area include:

  • A sociological exploration of the 'Mumpreneur'
  • A study exploring women’s understandings of occupying public space through activist events
  • Activism and community building: interaction and co-production of activism and community practices in the Australian anti-capitalist environmental movement
  • Aussie rules and the local women’s league in Newcastle, NSW
  • Being vegetarian in a contemporary rural context
  • Exploring the cross-ideological encounters between eco-feminism and the sustainability paradigm through a transversalist analytical lens
  • Female popular culture icons through the feminist gaze
  • How do transgender and gender diverse perform their gender in higher education?
  • Intergenerational consequences of childhood maltreatment and its correlation to parenting capacities
  • It’s hard work, but it’s worth it: personal experiences of young mothers who engage with social media in their lives
  • Performances of tribe in Australian cosplay
  • Struggles for sustainability: what are the challenges for sustainable business and consumption?
  • The impacts and implications of postings on Royal Australian Air Force families
  • Wonder Woman: does this fictional superhero help or hinder the social project of feminism?
  • Young adult friendships and vulnerability negotiation
  • Digital and social media as a communication tool in families

Postgraduate Taught Degree Courses

The following courses feature in our Masters of Social Change and Development.

HDR Research

Our staff supervise a range of research thesis topics for Ph.D. and M.Phil. degrees in their specialist areas of expertise. Further details on applying to the University of Newcastle’s higher research degrees can be found here. Degree applications are accepted at any time, however scholarship applications are typically due in early September. We encourage students to discuss criteria and topics with their potential supervisors well in advance of their application.

Researchers in the cluster have identified research strengths in a broad range of areas in sociology, anthropology, criminology and human services. PhD and Masters by Research students will benefit from a supportive network of world-class researchers. The University of Newcastle's Sociology is rated as 'world standard' by the Australian Research Council's (ARC) Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). It was also ranked in the top 200 globally by QS World University Rankings by Subject. Project enquiries are welcome for all related topics outlined by the supervisor's research areas. Research pathways are available in the following broad areas:

  • Sociology illuminates human behaviour by looking for the links between individual experience and the social context in which we live, work and play. Its central concerns involve questioning common sense views and personal opinion by asking you to consider the social influences that shape our lives. A sociological imagination questions the way things are, in order to think about the way things could be.
  • Anthropology is the study of humans and cultural differences, from the past to the present. To understand the full extent and complexities of cultures, and cultural understandings across all of human history, anthropology draws and builds upon knowledge from the social and biological sciences, the humanities and physical sciences. A central concern of anthropologists is the application of knowledge and experiences to the solution of human problems.
  • Criminology is the interdisciplinary study of crime, justice, and the criminal justice system. Criminologists attempt to understand the complex and fluid inter-relationship between offenders, victims, and the systems of social control and power. Criminologists come from many areas of social and physical sciences, and work in a diverse range of positions – from academics to police officers, lawyers, corrective services staff, court officers, and social services.