School of Humanities and Social Science
The cluster for Societies and Cultures and Human Services offers a range of study options from open access courses through to PhD research. Explore a sample below.
FutureLearn open access online courses
- Society and Culture: A Sociological Introduction introduces the sociological perspective through an exploration of current social and cultural issues.
- What is Anthropology? introduces the history, theory and practice of anthropology as an academic discipline.
- Environment and Society explores how humans, and the societal structures we create are related to, and shape, the environment.
- Social Analysis: Key Perspectives in the Social Sciences examines key topics and perspectives in the social sciences.
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 Arts, Bachelor of Social Science as well as a number of other programs at the University of Newcastle. Please click the links for further details.
- SOCA1010 Society & Culture: A Sociological Introduction
- SOCA1020 What is Anthropology?
- SOCA1030 Introduction to Sociology of Religion
- SOCA1050 Youth, Health and Crime
- SOCA1200 Health Sociology
- SOCA2020 Society, Space and Power
- SOCA2065 Environment and Society
- SOCA2102 Sociology of Childbirth and Midwifery
- SOCA2400 Future Societies: Beyond Capitalist Globalization
- SOCA2505 Sociology and Psychology of Mental Health for Occupational Therapy
- SOCA2700 Gender, Religion and Power
- SOCA3220 Youth Culture and Risk
- SOCA3230 Identity and Culture
- SOCA3315 Bodies in Cultural Perspective
- SOCA3666 Consumption and Everyday Life
- SOCA3750 Investigating the Social
- SOCA3780 Social Lab
- SOCA3790 Migration, Society and the Media
- SOCA3850 Indigenous People: Contemporary World
- SOCA3902 Religion & Politics in Contemporary Society
- SOCS1100 Professional Practice & Key Debates in Social Sciences
- SOCS2100 Organisational Management & Social Behavior
- SOCS2200 Social Analysis: Key Perspectives in Social Sciences
- SOCS2300 Ethical Debates in Social Science
- SOCS2400 Applied Social Research
- SOCS3100 Policy Development, Program Management & Evaluation
- SOCS3200 Applied Social Research Project
- SOCS3300 Bachelor of Social Science Placement
- HUSE1001 Introduction to Human Services
- HUSE2001 Shaping Human Services
- HUSE2002 Child Protection Work
- HUSE2005 Gendered Violence
- HUSE3001 Casework and Case Management
- HUSE3002 Human Service Placement
- HUSE3003 Human Rights in Social Policy
- HUSE3004 Social Policy: Australian, Global and Comparative Patterns
- HUSE3005 Working with Groups
- HUSE3006 Social Policy and Planning
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 signalling 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 Master of Social Change and Development.
- SOCA6100 International Health
- SOCA6190 Gender and Social Change
- SOCA6240 Project Design and Evaluation
- SOCA6571 Development and Social Change
- SOCA6590 Environmental Justice
- SOCA6640 Social Science Research Methods
- SOCA6670 Social Change & Development Research Project
Higher Degrees by Research (HDR)
Our SACHS staff supervise a range of research thesis topics for Ph.D. and M.Phil. degrees in their specialist areas of expertise. Find further details on applying to the University of Newcastle’s higher research degrees.
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:
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.
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.
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.