School of Social Sciences
Understanding human experience and exploring how and why society works
The School collaborates across government, community and industry to develop responses to major societal opportunities, challenges and injustices.
Through innovative research, industry placements and transformative education, our students forge critical understandings of local, regional and global issues.
Our disciplines and departments
This area seeks to better understand people and the societies in which they live and work.Find out more
Archaeology is the study of human life, thoughts and actions through materials left behind.Find out more
Asian Studies critiques and interrogates Western theories of social, economic, political and cultural development.Find out more
Language is at the core of what it means to be human and is central to how we interact with others in our lives.Find out more
Media and Communication
Media and communication tools are transforming the way we think about our identities, relationships and communities.Find out more
Political Science and International Relations
Our research and teaching explores the politics and governance of our complex, dynamic and globalised world.Find out more
Geography and Planning
Cutting-edge research balancing human development with the natural environmentFind out more
Welcome from Head of School Professor Amanda Davies
Become a bilingual citizen of the world at the largest language hub in WA
With four European, four Asian and two Classical languages on offer, UWA is the leading institution in WA for language learning.
Immerse yourself in another language. Learn to see the world in a new way. Move between cultures with ease.
This Buddhist sculpture probably won't 'rewrite history' - Western Australia already has a rich Chinese past
Does the discovery of a Ming Dynasty Buddha sculpture found near Shark Bay in remote Western Australia “rewrite history” and suggest the Chinese first visited Australia 600 years ago?Read more
Keeping your eyes open for opportunities to shape positive change
Political Science and International Relations graduate, Amy Coetzee’s global career spans multiple languages, continents and job titles and speaks to her hard work and perseverance.Read more
Ground-breaking medical research projects awarded $22 million
Researchers from UWA have been awarded more than $22.3 million to support nine vital health research projects, under the Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund.Read more
Our notable alumni
Associate Television Producer
Associate Television Producer, Singapore
Bachelor of Arts '18 (Communication and Media Studies)
UWA Bachelor of Arts alumni, Andrew Wong, graduated in December 2018 with a major in Communication and Media Studies. A Singaporean national, Andrew returned home post-graduation and shortly after, joined a local media production company as an Associate Producer of documentaries broadcasted on networks such as Channel NewsAsia and National Geographic. Andrew is passionate about sports, movies and photography and is an avid traveller whose adrenaline runs on looking for new sights and hidden trails to capture that one “epic” photo.
“The visual language of film and photography is my passion amongst many others. The idea of creating content that engages with the audience, with stories from the various reaches of the world, is an exciting one. This was one of the reasons why I really enjoyed my time at UWA in the Communication and Media Studies major, as it gave me new experiences and road trips around the best sunsets WA can offer.”
Assistant Curator at Western Australian Museum
Assistant Curator, Western Australian Museum
Bachelor of Science '18, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) ’19 (Archaeology)"I started studying straight after high school in 2016. My undergraduate majors were in Neuroscience and Archaeology, and in 2019 I completed an Honours in Archaeology.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at UWA, and have especially fond memories of travelling for both archaeological field trips and debating competitions. I studied neuroscience after falling in love with it during the Brain Bee at high school, organised by Jenny Rodger at UWA.
My second major became archaeology after a very interesting first year class with Sven Ouzman, where I ended up sourcing and firing my own clay tablet for an assignment. I was lucky enough to get a job at the Museum straight after graduation.
I have remained connected to UWA since then, especially as I finish publishing work that I completed during my Honours year."
Program Support Coordinator at DVassist
Program Support Coordinator, DVassist
Bachelor of Arts '19 (Political Science and International Relations, Law and Society)"Since graduating, I have worked as the Research Officer and Program Support Coordinator at DVassist, an organisation supporting those experiencing domestic and family violence in regional, rural and remote Western Australia. UWA equipped me with the skills and experiences that have shaped my chosen career path. While I was there, I was able to complete an exchange to the University of York where I was able to learn from an entirely different perspective.
I continue to work with UWA even after graduating. I am involved in the Career Mentor Link Program where I mentor a student in their career development. My passion is to empower those to speak, not to speak for them. I hope that I can use my skills to empower people with lived experiences of injustice and inequality to develop their own organisations, causes or voices to empower others who are similarly impacted."
Marketing and Product Manager
Marketing and Product Manager
Bachelor of Arts, '16 (Communication and Media Studies, Marketing)
"A few months before graduating from UWA in 2016, I was scouted by a publicly listed tech company. They found me on Twitter - for which I can only attribute to luck. But it was my former manager’s reference that sold me – a reference only a mother can beat. Being a curious go-getter, I started co-organizing hackathons for the government. Doors instantly opened that helped me to start a consulting side-hustle, and was also where I met my co-founder, Chris. Two years ago we launched a construction software startup and we now have a team of seven.
Designing products the world has never seen before is beyond fulfilling. The process of exploration, ideation, designing and deploying is fun every step of the way, and allows me to experiment with different tools and ideas. It’s the most interesting part of my career so far, and I’d like to continue creating bigger and bolder tools for the rest of my life."
Multi-award winning musician
Internationally acclaimed, multi-award winning musician
Bachelor of Arts ’04 (Linguistics and Anthropology and Sociology)
Bachelor of Arts Linguistics and Anthropology graduate, Jessie Gordon, is an internationally acclaimed, multi-award winning musician whose musical passions span across jazz, blues, gospel and roots music. She is a jazz blues vocalist, vintage jazz dancer, raconteur and self-proclaimed cheese enthusiast.
Jessie’s passion for music has taken her around the world, touring Southeast Asia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the UK. She has won 15 Music and Cabaret awards at FRINGE WORLD Festival and has received 22 nominations. Jessie has collaborated with local Perth bands including Sassafras, Apocalypse Lounge, The Dirty Blues Band, Perth Cabaret Collective, and the Anatomically Incorrect Gentlemen, and recently released two albums with her original music, A Work of Fiction and Best Friends.
In 2004, Jessie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Linguistics and Anthropology. Following graduation, she undertook an honours year in anthropology and began a PhD which she never completed, having succumbed to the lure of bright stage lights.
“Anthropology changed the way I looked at the world. I can’t emphasise enough the impact it had on me. I still remember the profound revelation I experienced studying gender and sexuality, and also healing and medicine, through an anthropological lens.
“For me the intersection of language and music provides a constant tension in performance. There are so many interpretations of a melody that can support the lyric of a tune, or provide a counterpoint to it. I use the skills I learned in my arts degree every day to think analytically about musical and lyrical content and find new ways to interpret and communicate on stage.”
Our research strengths
We pride ourselves on our supportive and collaborative research environment, pooling our expertise to work for the greater good. This is reflected in our cross-disciplinary research strengths, which bring together researchers from across the school at all stages of their career.
Social and Political Development
This Social Sciences research explores how societies, communities, politics and systems of governance generate and respond to change.Read more about Social and Political Development
Analysing the uses and effects of media to communicate, manipulate, challenge and engage. From the exploration of the theory and practice of the internet, to video production, gaming, analyses of public communication, reality TV and representations of beauty online, we are interested in how media impacts our lives.Read more about Media
Geography and planning
Geography and planning investigates the interactions between people and their surroundings and looks at ways to minimise human impact on natural environments.Read more about Geography and planning
Australian identities across time and space
Australian Identities Across Time and Space explores what it means to be Australian now, in the past, and what it may mean in the future.Read more about Australian identities across time and space
Social equity and justice
Social equity and justice explores underlying issues that create injustice within and among societies in the global order. This research promotes an awareness of how more just institutions can be achieved within the wider society and global context.Read more about Social equity and justice
Research centres and entities
- Centre for Forensic Anthropology
- Centre for Regional Development
- Centre for Muslim States and Societies
- Centre for Rock Art Research and Management
- Planning and Transport Research Centre
- The Digitisation Centre of Western Australia
- The Ethnography Lab of Western Australia
- The Language Lab
- VaxPol Lab
The UWA Archaeology Lab is a research and analysis space for UWA students and researchers in the field of archaeology.Read more about Archaeology Lab
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