Study area

Humanities and Social Sciences

By studying Humanities and Social Sciences, you’ll gain a critical understanding of how society shapes, and is shaped by, culture, politics, geography, economics, media, history, language, the environment and more. You will develop the knowledge and skills to define complex problems, and identify and design solutions, while being supported in your passion to drive and implement change.

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With our collaborations across industry, government and community, you’ll apply knowledge and expertise to respond to major societal opportunities, challenges and injustices, such as achieving sustainable development, addressing climate change, eliminating poverty, strengthening global communications and improving the mental health of communities. 

Within the humanities, through the study of culture, language, literature, history and philosophy, you will examine the human experience and gain a deep understanding of the connections that tie us all together. 

Within the social sciences, which bridges the social, physical and environmental sciences, you will use a scientific approach to understanding the development and operations of societies and their influence on the world.

  • 1st in WA for full-time employment 
    for undergraduates in Communication, Media and Journalism (Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020). 
  • Get practical training 
    through internships, hands-on learning with industry and business partners, and overseas study opportunities. 
  • 83.6% for skills development, 87.9% for teaching quality 
    satisfaction rate for Undergraduate Humanities and Social Sciences (Good Universities Guide). 
  • #1 in WA 
    for Arts and Humanities, Psychology, and Social Sciences and Management (QS WUR by Subject 2020). 
  • WA’s largest language hub 
    with four European languages, four Asian languages and two Classical languages taught. 

Where our graduates go

"UWA equipped me with the skills and experiences that have shaped my chosen career path in the family and domestic violence sector and, more recently, the not-for-profit education sector. While studying, I was able to complete an exchange, giving me the opportunity to learn from an entirely different perspective. UWA allowed me to develop international employability skills that have allowed me to take my career outside Australia. I hope I can continue to use my skills to empower people with lived experiences of injustice and inequality to develop their voice."
Amy Bowdrey
Bachelor of Arts '19
Education worker, and mentoring and enrichment coordinator, INTOUNIVERSITY
Patrick Morrison
Bachelor of Science '18, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) ’19 (Archaeology)
Assistant Curator, Western Australian Museum
"I thoroughly enjoyed my time at UWA and have especially fond memories of travelling for both archaeological field trips and debating competitions. 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."

Bachelor of International Relations

Challenge yourself with WA’s only Bachelor of International Relations. Develop the knowledge and real-world experience to tackle our most pressing global challenges.

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Preparing you for a successful career

Connecting you with industry

Gain a critical edge with our global research collaborations and strong links with industry leaders.  
Our established network of connections spans the creative and public sectors, including Perth Fashion Festival, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, City of Perth, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Department of Commerce.  
Our corporate supporters ensure you stay at the forefront of industry trends by providing guest lectures, case studies, mentoring and a suite of scholarships and prizes to help you achieve at the highest level. 


Skills for the future 

Graduates are now required to hold a bank of transferable skills. These skills can never be automated or replicated by artificial intelligence, ensuring you’re well equipped for the jobs of the future.  

Emerging skills: 

  • Creativity, originality and initiative 
  •  Analytical thinking
  • Complex problem-solving 
  • Critical thinking and analysis 
  • Leadership and social influence 
  • Emotional intelligence 

Source: Australian Government, Department of Jobs and Small Business, Australian Jobs 2019 


Industry snapshot

Study in this area will provide you with a range of skills you can use in different careers locally, nationally and internationally. You could apply your expertise to sectors and industries such as government, non-government, higher education, media and communications organisations, advertising or arts and cultural organisations.  Languages too are deemed a national priority under the Australian Government’s 2021 Job-ready Graduates Package, which encourages students to consider studying for jobs of the future.

Potential jobs

  • Arts administrator/manager
  • Business administration manager 
  • Communications adviser
  • Editor or journalist
  • Foreign affairs and trade officer
  • Historian
  • Intelligence analyst 
  • Media producer 
  • Parliamentarian 
  • Policy manager/adviser 
  • Public relations manager 
  • Translator or interpreter 

Job growth in this industry 

Job growth in Humanities and Social Sciences. Public Administration 11.3%, Media and Telecommunications 16.5%, Arts and Recreation Services 17.7%. Public Administration and Safety 11.3% Media and Telecommunications 16.5% Arts and Recreation Services 17.7%

Sources: Australian Government, Department of Jobs and Small Business, Australian Jobs 2019; National Skills Commission

Full-time employment outcomes of graduates who studied Humanities, culture and social sciences:

  • 87% – Undergraduate
  • 90.5% – Postgraduate coursework
  • 87.1% – Postgraduate research

Source: 2020 Graduate Outcomes Survey Longitudinal


World-class facilities

The Archaeology Lab is a research and analysis facility used by UWA undergraduates, postgraduates, student volunteers, honours students, staff and visiting researchers. It is an essential working space to examine artefacts, botanical and faunal specimens and other material brought back from excavations. The lab is used to analyse materials such as seeds, animal bones, shells, eggshells, stone artefacts and charcoal collected during fieldwork. 

Undergraduate courses

To find out more about our range of undergraduate courses, visit Our courses explained.

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