Study Humanities, Creative Industries, and Social Sciences

Our students develop in-demand skills that are transferrable across industries, while also having access to the latest technologies.

We've launched a new Bachelor of Arts degree, which addresses the essential need for industry and community engagement and employability outcomes for our students. You can now study the BA Online, created with FutureLearn.

We have renewed our Bachelor of Social Science degree. Diverse placement opportunities and embedded authentic experiences will prepare students to be work-ready when they graduate.

If you are looking for a career in the world of music, film, television, design, games, and performing arts or want to write, design and produce audio, visual and strategic content for brands, clients and audiences, check out our creative degree programs. These degrees have a focus on hands-on learning and let you collaborate with industry partners and the creative community. Our staff are world-class specialists actively practising their craft, and our state-of-the-art facilities provide the ideal platform for you to excel and establish the career you want when you graduate. You can see the kind of creative work that students create at events such as Festival X and the Newcastle Animation Festival.

Our School is also home to the University's modern languages – Chinese, French, German and Japanese – and the international exchanges that go with them. While our international focus is supported through our language programs, all students have access to a wide range of exchange schemes and international fieldwork placements during their studies.

The School contributes substantially to prescribed courses for a range of degree programs in the wider University through specific courses or minors, such as:

  • Development Studies
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Health Sciences and Nursing
Video: The Human in Humanities

Study options

Anthropology

Anthropology is the study of humans and cultural differences, in both the past and present. Within your degree you will learn the full extent and complexities of cultures. The study of anthropology draws and builds upon knowledge from the social and biological sciences, the humanities and physical sciences. A central concern of the anthropology major is the application of knowledge to the solution of human problems.

Career examples

  • Access and equity advisor
  • Cultural heritage officer
  • Cultural tourism curator
  • Equity and diversity officer

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Arts
  2. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  3. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science
  4. Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
  5. Bachelor of Global Indigenous Studies
  6. Bachelor of Social Science
  7. Bachelor of Social Science (Honours)

Communication and public relations

Similar to marketing, public relations or PR is about working with customers and stakeholders to build and maintain an organisation’s brand and reputation. Unlike marketing, this area is not directly focused on revenue and selling a particular product.

Career examples

  • Media officer
  • PR consultant
  • Political advisor
  • Community liaison officer

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Communication
  2. Bachelor of Communication (Honours)
  3. Bachelor of Psychological Science / Bachelor of Communication

Creative and performing arts

Performing arts form an essential part of the way in which we understand ourselves and the world we live in. Whether your study focuses on screenwriting or drama, you will learn the value of thinking through making. The study of performing arts explores the role of the body in creative expression and what it means to think in a different way.

Career examples

  • Actor
  • Casting director
  • Creative director
  • Screenwriter

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Arts
  2. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  3. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science
  4. Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
  5. Bachelor of Education (Secondary)
  6. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (Honours)
  7. Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts
  8. Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts / Bachelor of Arts
  9. Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts (Honours)

Design

Design is essentially art with a purpose. It involves learning how to create visual and textual content which can be physical or virtual, and may include images, words or graphic forms. Designers usually work within an organisation or in a creative agency designing and developing brands and the architecture surrounding brands, as well as promotional material like websites, brochures and signage.

Career examples

  • Graphic designer
  • Creative director
  • Design manager
  • Multimedia designer

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Communication
  2. Bachelor of Education (Secondary)
  3. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (Honours)
  4. Bachelor of Social Science (Honours)
  5. Bachelor of Visual Communication Design
  6. Bachelor of Visual Communication Design (Honours)
  7. Graduate Certificate in Creative Industries
  8. Graduate Certificate in Digital Media
  9. Master of Creative Industries
  10. Master of Digital Media

English

English graduates are experts in English literature in the context of individual authors, genres, historical periods and themes. A major in English literature will teach you to understand literary texts in the light of their cultural and historical contexts. Graduates will learn the skills necessary to work in publishing and editing; education or in a library.

Career examples

  • Critic
  • Editor
  • Editorial assistant
  • Librarian

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Arts (major in English and Writing)
  2. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (major in English and Writing)
  3. Bachelor of Education (Primary) (major in Writing and Publishing)

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is at the forefront of economic growth both domestically and internationally. Graduates with entrepreneurial thinking and the ability to devise innovative solutions to common problems are increasingly being sought after. By focusing on entrepreneurship you will be able to think distinctively, creatively and critically in a business environment. You may see yourself developing your own ideas into successful new ventures or working within an existing business in a different way.

Career examples

  • Business owner
  • Business development officer
  • Entrepreneur
  • Account manager

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  2. Diploma in Business
  3. Graduate Certificate in Creative Industries
  4. Master of Creative Industries

Film, media and cultural studies

Media studies students learn to analyse the role of media in society. They study the way we consume and use popular media forms such as music, film and television; as well as new media like social media and the internet. Media studies experts consider the institutions and practices that shape these cultural forms and have a deep understanding of topics like audiences and consumption; gender and sexuality; digital labour; and representation and spectatorship.

Career examples

  • Archivist
  • Media analyst
  • Media research analyst
  • Blogger

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Arts
  2. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  3. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science
  4. Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
  5. Bachelor of Global Indigenous Studies
  6. Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts / Bachelor of Arts

History

The study of history provides a window to the world, helping graduates understand and interpret the societies and cultures, the people and events of the past. Historians focus on anything from ancient societies like the Greeks and Romans; to the medieval period; right through to recent history with major world events such as the Vietnam War. Majoring in this area will prepare you to solely concentrate on history on its own or use the skills in other careers where it is relevant such as law, journalism, publishing, teaching and policy development.

Career examples

  • Cultural heritage officer
  • Exhibitions officer
  • Historian
  • Publications officer

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Arts (minor in Ancient History)
  2. Bachelor of Arts (major in History)
  3. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (first teaching area in Ancient History)
  4. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (first teaching area in Modern History)
  5. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (first teaching area in Society and Culture, Ancient and Modern History and Studies of Religion)
  6. Bachelor of Social Science (major in History)

Human services

Human services is about the study and creation of programs and initiatives that provide income, service or other support for disadvantaged people such as the poor, elderly, disabled, students, refugees and other underprivileged groups. You learn how to act as a key advocate for their rights and help lobby for change. This area may be challenging but the difference community welfare experts make is enormous.

Career examples

  • Policy analyst
  • Community development officer
  • Migrant support officer
  • Youth worker

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Global Indigenous Studies
  2. Bachelor of Social Science
  3. Bachelor of Social Science (Honours)
  4. Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
  5. Graduate Certificate in Creative Industries
  6. Master of Creative Industries

Illustration and animation

Illustrators and animators use drawing or digital techniques to create sequential narratives that can range from simplistic comics to an animated movie blockbuster. We often use visual language to communicate complex ideas and information and, with ever-evolving digital technology being used alongside traditional techniques, this is an exciting and fast-moving area to work in. As organisations are increasingly trying to get cut-through and produce something that stands out from competitors there is a growing need for artists who can produce innovative, eye-catching visual content.

Career examples

  • Animator
  • Cartoonist
  • Illustrator
  • Special effects technician

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Communication
  2. Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts
  3. Bachelor of Natural History Illustration (Honours)
  4. Bachelor of Visual Communication Design
  5. Graduate Certificate in Creative Industries
  6. Graduate Certificate in Digital Media
  7. Master of Creative Industries
  8. Master of Digital Media

Information technology

Information Technology (IT) is increasingly being used to support the creative process. In your degree you will learn how the use of apps, digital entertainment and virtualisation is skyrocketing and requires professionals with creative flair and training in IT to bring them to life. This unique combination of abilities is highly attractive to employers across a wide range of industries and starting salaries reflect this demand.

Career examples

  • Web developer
  • Games developer
  • Web and multimedia producer
  • Futurist

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Arts
  2. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  3. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science
  4. Bachelor of Computing (Honours)
  5. Bachelor of Education (Secondary)
  6. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (Honours)
  7. Bachelor of Global Indigenous Studies
  8. Bachelor of Information Technology
  9. Bachelor of Information Technology / Bachelor of Business
  10. Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts / Bachelor of Arts
  11. Diploma in Information Technology
  12. Graduate Certificate in Information Technology
  13. Master of Information Technology (MIT)

Interaction design and UX

The Interaction and UX Design Major has been designed for students who wish to learn about and/or follow a career path in the areas of Interaction Design, User Experience, or Game Art & Design. Transferable skills in this major can inform careers in game design, pre-visualisation, animation design or service design, or can be applied experimentally in the creation of digital interactive artwork. This major emphasises broad creative skills such as storytelling and visual narrative in conjunction with an emphasis on visualisation and human-centred design.

Career examples

  • User experience designer
  • Web designer
  • User interface designer
  • Information architect
  • Concept artist
  • 3D visualiser
  • Modeler
  • Interaction designer
  • Usability specialist
  • Games UX designer

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Communication
  2. Bachelor of Visual Communication Design

Languages

Proficiency in other languages enriches personal growth and gives you a deeper appreciation of cultural differences. Those who have studied a second language are attractive for a range of jobs, especially those involving travel; overseas postings and teaching; along with opportunities in sectors that have foreign-language clients, markets and stakeholders.You can study one or more Modern Languages (Mandarin, French, German, Japanese) as a Major or a Minor in the Bachelor of Arts or the Diploma in languages. You can also learn Indonesian, sign language (HUMA2070 and 2080) or Indigenous Languages (HUMA1100). All of the language courses can also be taken as electives in any program.

Career examples

  • Translator
  • Tour guide
  • Overseas English teacher
  • Immigration officer

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Arts
  2. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  3. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science
  4. Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
  5. Bachelor of Education (Secondary)
  6. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (Honours)
  7. Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts / Bachelor of Arts
  8. Diploma in Languages
  9. Master of Translation Studies

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Arts (major in Ancient History and Classical Languages)
  2. Bachelor of Arts (minor in Chinese)
  3. Bachelor of Arts (major in French Studies)
  4. Bachelor of Arts (major in German)
  5. Bachelor of Arts (major in Japanese Studies)
  6. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (major in Chinese)
  7. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (major in French)
  8. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (major in German)
  9. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (major in Japanese)
  10. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (minor in Teaching English as a second language)
  11. Diploma in Languages (either by itself or alongside another degree)

Linguistics

Linguistics is concerned with the scientific study of language. Linguistics students learn about the range of critically important functions that language performs in practically all aspects of our lives: as the most essential system of human communication, in cognitive development, as a repository of knowledge and culture, as a constructor of social and ethnic identity, as a component of Indigenous identity and well-being, and as the most powerful mechanism for acquiring and exchanging new knowledge, that is, for teaching and learning.

Linguists examine how languages are systematically structured, the ways languages around the world differ from each other and are similar and how they are related to one another, how children and adults learn languages, and how we process linguistic information. They also analyze the role of language in society and communication between people and cultures. In today’s globalized world, growing attention is devoted to the teaching and learning of second/foreign languages, particularly English as a second language. UoN Linguistics also focuses on the documentation of endangered languages, and on cognitive science approaches to language systems and what languages can tell us about human cognition. We also offer a new Master of Translation Studies.

Career examples

  • Cryptographer
  • Linguistic analyst (for social media industries, AI developers, government intelligence)
  • Software engineer (e.g. in automated speech/language recognition and generation)
  • Worker in Indigenous language maintenance and revitalization
  • Foreign affairs and trade officer
  • Academic researcher

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Arts
  2. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  3. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science
  4. Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
  5. Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts / Bachelor of Arts
  6. Bachelor of Social Science
  7. Bachelor of Social Science (Honours)
  8. Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours)

Media production

In Media production you will learn how to create professional media content. This could be in a more conventional media space such as photomedia and traditional media like video, television and radio; or in the virtual space with websites and associated online multimedia. Digital and online media jobs have become more prevalent in recent years as internet and web-based media production work has increased.

Career examples

  • Audiovisual technician
  • Media production editor
  • Web developer
  • Digital producer

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Communication
  2. Bachelor of Visual Communication Design
  3. Graduate Certificate in Creative Industries
  4. Graduate Certificate in Digital Media
  5. Master of Creative Industries
  6. Master of Digital Media

Music

Music professionals write, arrange, orchestrate, conduct and perform musical compositions. Not only will you learn strong technical skills, but you will study how to fuse entrepreneurial and creative applications of music technologies. This area is broad and varied and you can study areas such as performance (instrumental or voice), composition, creative production, song writing or teaching.

Career examples

  • Conductor
  • Musician
  • Music producer
  • Vocal coach

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts
  2. Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts / Bachelor of Arts
  3. Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts (Honours)
  4. Graduate Certificate in Creative Industries
  5. Graduate Certificate in Digital Media
  6. Master of Creative Industries
  7. Master of Digital Media

News and digital media

As a News and Digital Media student at the University of Newcastle, you will learn to plan, develop, write, record and edit stories across a variety of media platforms. The News and Digital Media major provides students with the opportunity to develop practical skills and knowledge that is relevant to the contemporary journalism landscape.

This major will prepare you to work in journalism whether you want to work for news organisations, new online media outlets, as freelancers, in other media businesses or as embedded creatives in other industries. You will learn to produce media for video, audio, mobile, print and online platforms.

Career examples

  • Media officers
  • Publishers
  • Editors
  • Speechwriters for government officials, politicians and executives
  • Corporate communicators

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Communication

Public and community health

Social science

Social Science is the study of social relationships, structures and issues. Learn how to craft strategies and solutions to various social challenges, understand different cultures and areas of sensitivity, and develop ethical awareness while learning about the constructs that make the world go round. With 11 diverse areas of study, you are able to pursue what interests you by specialising in your chosen field.

Career examples

  • Social researcher
  • Case manager/worker
  • Health promotion officer
  • Foreign affairs and trade officer

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Psychological Science / Bachelor of Social Science
  2. Bachelor of Social Science
  3. Diploma in Arts and Social Science
  4. Graduate Certificate in Social Change and Development
  5. Master of Social Change and Development

Social work

In a social work degree, you will learn about supporting and resolving personal and social relationship issues between individuals, families, groups, organisations and communities. Social workers maintain a dual focus on both assisting with wellbeing as well as identifying external issues that may impact this wellbeing. There is a strong demand for qualified social workers and job opportunities are broad and incredibly rewarding.

Career examples

  • Case manager
  • Child protection officer
  • Community development worker
  • Social worker

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Social Science
  2. Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)

Sociology

Sociology is the study of social change, social relationships and the social causes and consequences of human behaviour. In your degree you will focus on topic such as ethnicity, gender, sexuality, health, crime, place and mobility, and inequality, and will learn to use qualitative and quantitative research methods to study the social world. Sociology graduates often use their skills in designing social research and analyzing data and existing research to work in government departments and non-government organisations (NGOs).

Career examples

  • Social researcher
  • Policy analyst of advisor
  • Advisory officers
  • Market research officer

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Social Science
  2. Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
  3. Diploma in Arts and Social Science
  4. Graduate Certificate in Social Change and Development
  5. Master of Social Change and Development

Studies of religion

Studies of religion covers the history, literature, philosophy, beliefs and practices of the world’s traditions. Your degree will focus on all main religions from antiquity to the present day. Graduates minoring in Studies of Religion can find employment in a variety of roles in many different types of organisations. Careers range in industries such as cultural heritage, government, journalism, law and politics.

Career examples

  • Access and equity advisor
  • Community development worker
  • Cultural heritage officer
  • Studies of religion education coordinator
  • Technical writer

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Arts
  2. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  3. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science
  4. Bachelor of Education (Secondary)
  5. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (Honours)
  6. Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts / Bachelor of Arts

Urban and regional development

This area is about studying development at a local, national and international level. Your learning focuses on making economic and social transformations in our communities. You could focus on infrastructure, services and planning or social issues like gentrification and urban sprawl.

Career examples

  • Cultural development officer
  • Town planner/urban designer
  • Transport geographer
  • Demographer

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Arts
  2. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  3. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science
  4. Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts / Bachelor of Arts
  5. Bachelor of Social Science
  6. Bachelor of Social Science (Honours)
  7. Graduate Certificate in Social Change and Development
  8. Master of Social Change and Development

Visual arts

Visual arts are creations we can look at and usually involve ceramics, drawing, painting, photomedia and sculpture. In visual arts you will learn to experiment with materials, technologies and contexts, studying how professional visual artists use their creative skills and entrepreneurial flair to innovate and create with purpose.

Career examples

  • Artist-in-residence
  • Art dealer
  • Photographer
  • Set designer

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Education (Secondary)
  2. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (Honours)
  3. Graduate Certificate in Creative Industries
  4. Master of Creative Industries

Writing and publishing

This study area involves the creation and distribution of literature and information. You can learn about creative and professional writing such as journalism, fiction, creative non-fiction, feature writing and poetry. Professionals in this area have a strong understanding of audiences and contexts and can carefully craft appropriate messages.

Career examples

  • Copywriter
  • Editor
  • Journalist
  • Speechwriter

Degrees

  1. Bachelor of Arts
  2. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  3. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science
  4. Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
  5. Bachelor of Communication
  6. Bachelor of Global Indigenous Studies
  7. Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts / Bachelor of Arts
  8. Graduate Certificate in Creative Industries
  9. Master of Creative Industries

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.