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Study areas for Bachelor of Social Science


Available as a minor, this interdisciplinary area of study aims to enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of the African continent in areas such as literature, culture, geography and politics.


Poor early life experience of children and adolescents – leading to harmful outcomes like underachievement, behaviour problems and crime – is a major focus in the study of child and youth development.

This study area empowers you in assessing the needs of at-risk children and youth, teaches you how to design and implement programmes – for use in settings like early child care, education, the community, parent education, school, support and juvenile justice – and integrate tools and positive behaviour into the everyday life of children and youth, as well as what to do when an intervention is needed on someone’s behalf.


Communication and media studies focuses on the role of media in society and how this influences the way we receive communications and the way we communicate with each other. You will explore communication in interpersonal, organisational, corporate and intercultural contexts, gaining an understanding of the structures of communications industries and how to critically analyse the media. An opportunity to apply skills via a workplace internship is also available.


When you consider it away from the glamour of books, movies, television programmes and sensational media coverage, crime is revealed to be both a fascinating and incredibly complex subject.

If you have an interest in deviance, conflict, crime, victimisation, society and the need for creating and maintaining safety then a major research piece in criminology and criminal justice is for you.

You may choose to focus your research on the forms of crime that can have a significant negative impact on society, the economy and the environment, or you might propose new ways to deal with crime, conflict and victimisation.


Development studies takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding key concepts and theoretical perspectives used in approaches to global development and poverty eradication. The area draws on ethnography, historical contextualisation and anthropology to help understand social and economic patterns of change; how development policy is imagined, produced, and received (or resisted) across multiple cultural contexts; and how development is imagined and defined through specific case studies of approaches, institutions and practitioners in the field. You will gain an understanding of global inequalities and how these impact on different groups of people. You will also gain an understanding of development theories and models and an understanding of how development has affected particular cultures and places.


French is spoken in 42 countries over 5 continents. It is one of the five official languages of the United Nations and is used by important international bodies such as the World Health Organisation, the International Court of Justice, the OECD and the International Olympic Committee. The French studies sequence will allow you to develop communicative competence in speaking, listening comprehension, reading and writing. You will also be introduced to Francophone African culture.


In this study area you will develop an understanding of natural environments, societies, communities, economies, human-environment relations and environmental management.

You will cover both human geography and physical geography and have the opportunity to participate in field studies and trips allowing you to further develop and apply skills gained.


As the world globalises and nations and economies become more integrated, understanding our world and the ideas and beliefs of our neighbours is vital. International studies criss-crosses history, politics, international relations, sociology and economics. Offering a uniquely African perspective to global issues, you will start by looking at the history of the 20th century, and then move to the issues currently facing our world as we move into our world today.


Through a combination of academic and practice-based work, students gain a solid foundation in all production technologies – print, video, radio and online – in metropolitan, regional and international contexts. You will be equipped with the skills required for the practices of research and reporting for news journalism and journalism production and develop an understanding of the technologically driven media society. The program opens employment opportunities in the print and electronic media in the private sector and government.


What sorts of things exist in the world and how are they related? How are the mind and matter related? Philosophy raises questions such as these about the basic assumptions of every form of human inquiry – and attempts to find the answers. You will explore the notions of logic, critical reasoning, and both personal and professional ethics.


Political studies is a broad area of study allowing you to learn about the interrelationships in the human world. You will consider debates about resource allocation, decision-making, social behaviour and political action, the management or resolution of conflict, power struggles, ideologies and political movements, and the nature of the government and the state, including relations between states. The study of politics is ultimately concerned with important questions about the nature of power and authority, with the relationship between theory and practice, and with trying to understand the nature of social existence and the conditions needed for establishing more desirable forms of human community.


Psychology draws on a range of phenomena including remembering and forgetting, thinking, learning, problem solving, how we communicate, our emotions, and our social interactions. It allows us to examine how we respond to the world around us, providing valuable insights in how we can interact with the world more effectively and safely.

The Psychology study area is research-led and based on the scientist-practitioner model of education whereby you will learn about psychology within a scientific perspective.


Public relations practice provides you with the competencies and skills required for careers in managing the strategic corporate communication and public relations function of an organisation. An emphasis is placed on skills development in the utilisation of both traditional and new media, publicity and media relations, stakeholder mapping and profiling, strategic planning, marketing and advertising.


Sociology explores people and the relationships that they have in different contexts such as families, schools and workplaces. Sociologists look to things like social class, gender, ethnicity, power and culture to understand and explain the differences in how people live, think and feel.