School of Social Sciences
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.
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
The School of Social Sciences is a vibrant, exciting place in which to study and research. Often described as sitting between the hard sciences and the arts, social science is the systematic development of knowledge about society – past, present and future.
Social scientists run head first into the difficult questions to logically reveal how society shapes, and is shaped by, politics, economics, culture, religion, geography and the environment. And we do so with purpose and passion. Solutions to global challenges, including achieving sustainable development, addressing climate change, eliminating poverty, improving the status of indigenous populations and closing the gap between rich and poor, can only be advanced when the best knowledge about how societies work is available.
Our courses have excellent employability results, with our graduates highly sought after for their ability to apply understandings about societies to real-world problems and challenges. You will find the School of Social Sciences a very welcoming environment in which to study because, after all, the more brains we have thinking about how to address the pressing challenges facing our world, the better.
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.
Hear about our new courses
Bachelor of International Relations
UWA’s Bachelor of International Relations provides you with comprehensive knowledge of international relations from a range of perspectives — political, legal, historical, and sociological. In line with UWA’s expertise and Perth’s geography, you’ll receive unique training focusing on the Indo-Pacific region.
Hear about our new courses
Bachelor of Social and Environmental Sustainability
Are you passionate about creating a sustainable future? The Bachelor of Social and Environmental Sustainability provides a unique blend of social sciences, humanities, environmental studies, and policy.
With Pakistan's most popular politician in jail and cynicism running high, can a new leader unite the country?
Pakistanis will head to the polls on Thursday to elect a new parliament and prime minister at a time of renewed political turbulence in the country.Read more
How Iran and the US could end up in a war neither of them really want
The United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran have reached a tipping point in their long-standing hostility.Read more
Middle East conflict could stretch to China and Russia, if Biden's not careful
The oil-rich but conflict-ridden Middle East is in transition from its old volatile conditions to a new unpredictable posture.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.”
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