The Social Science Department offers a range of courses designed to prepare students for higher education and the workforce. Students are encouraged to select courses that are appropriate to their areas of interest, their academic ability and their vocational aspirations.
All Social Science courses follow the Australian Curriculum.
Ancient History (T, A)
The Ancient History curriculum enables students to study life in early civilisations based on the analysis and interpretation of physical and written remains. The ancient period, as defined in this curriculum, extends from the development of early human communities to the end of late antiquity AD 650, with a focus on the ancient societies of Europe, the Near East and Asia.
Ancient History stimulates students’ curiosity and imagination and enriches their appreciation of humanity and the value of the ancient past. It shows how the world and its people have changed, as well as the significant legacies that exist into the present. The study of ancient civilisations illustrates the development of some of the distinctive features of contemporary societies for example social organisation, systems of law, governance and religion. Ancient History is also concerned with the possible motivations, and actions of individuals and groups, and how they shaped the political, social and cultural landscapes of the ancient world.
Students are introduced to the complexities of reconstructing the past using often fragmentary evidence from a range of literary, documentary, architectural and archaeological sources, and the skills associated with the analysis and evaluation of historical sources. Students develop increasingly sophisticated historiographical skills and historical understanding, from their analysis of interpretations and representations of the ancient world to their close study of features and structures of ancient societies.
Ancient History units offered:
Unit 1: Investigating the Ancient World
This unit introduces the nature of the remaining evidence of the ancient past and issues relevant to the investigation of the ancient world. The unit involves an investigation of the evidence for an ancient site, individual, group or event and how it has been interpreted and represented.
Unit 2: Ancient Societies
This unit examines how people lived in the ancient world through an investigation of the remaining evidence. The unit focuses on the study of significant features of ancient societies, such as slavery, the family, and beliefs, rituals and funerary practices.
Unit 3: People, Power and Authority
This unit examines the nature and exercise of power and authority in ancient societies in key periods, with reference to the evidence of significant political, military, religious and economic features. The study of an individual as part of this unit enables study of the influence of the ‘individual’ on events and developments.
Unit 4: Reconstructing the Ancient World
This unit focuses on a significant historical period to develop an understanding of the relevant institutions, practises, key events and individuals of the period, in the context of a wide range of sources. This unit allows for greater study of the challenges associated with the interpretation and evaluation of evidence.
Business is the study of the essential planning requirements ranging from a small business to the broader roles of management, finance, human resource management, marketing, e-business, ethical practices, sustainability and the impacts of implications of the future business environment.
Students develop their knowledge and understanding of the structure and operation of Business models. They examine the relationship between theory and practice including the role of stakeholders and decision-making. Students develop insights into the ways and the impact of change on the business environment.
Students develop the skills to create innovative solutions to business problems. They will research and analyse information to present logical and coherent arguments through an inquiry approach to learning. Students will assess the ethical implications and consequences of a changing business environment. Skills implicit in the study of Business empower students to communicate in a variety of contexts.
The study of Business enables learners to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance the well-being of all citizens locally, nationally and globally.
The Business course provides continuity with many pathways into tertiary and industry studies. Business units offered are:
Unit 1: Changing Business Environment
This unit explores business and its dynamic environment through the following focus topics: Small business, Globalisation and Entrepreneurship.
Unit 2: Relationship Management
This unit investigates the relationship between businesses, its customers, the wider business environment and its increasing importance for business longevity through the following focus topics: Marketing, Media and Communication.
Unit 3: Planning for the current context
This unit investigates the range of tools and strategies utilised by business to plan for success through the following focus topics: Financial Planning, Human Resources and The Business Plan.
Unit 4: Business Challenges
This unit investigates the importance for business to be responsive to change from the internal and external environments. The focus topics for this unit are decided upon current issues happening in Australia and throughout the business world.
Economics is a study of the actions of individuals and societies, particularly as they relate to choices about satisfying needs and wants, and the utilisation of scarce resources. It uses theories and models to attempt to explain these behaviours and help students to be more informed citizens, consumers, workers, voters, producers, savers and investors.
Students develop their knowledge and understanding of the structure and operation of Economic models. They examine the relationship between theory and practice including the role of stakeholders and decision-making. Students develop insights into the ways and the impact of change on the economic environment. This course examines representations and interpretations of economic issues.
Skills implicit in the study of Economics empower students to communicate in a variety of contexts and provides continuity with many pathways into tertiary and industry studies.
Economic units offered are:
Students will be introduced to basic economic concepts, models and relationships. This unit examines the choices which all individuals, firms, institutions, markets and governments attempt to address as they confront the problem of satisfying their unlimited wants with limited resources.
Students will continue the study of economic theories and concepts as applied to the free market. This unit examines macroeconomic and microeconomic theories as business and governments attempt to address economic issues of cost, benefits and intervention.
Students will further examine the role of economic decisions and policies on conflicting issues. This unit examines government intervention in a free market at a national and international level.
Students will study the implications and pace of economic programs. This unit examines the impact of globalisation, population, trade and development of nations.
Geography (A, T)
Geography draws on students’ curiosity about the diversity of the world’s places and their peoples, cultures and environments. It enables students to appreciate the complexity of our world and the diversity of its environments, economies and cultures. Students can use this knowledge to promote a more sustainable way of life and awareness of social and spatial inequalities.
Geography provides a structured, disciplinary framework to investigate and analyse a range of challenges and associated opportunities facing Australia and the global community. These challenges include rapid change in biophysical environments, the sustainability of places, dealing with environmental risks and the consequences of international integration.
Students apply geographical inquiry through a more advanced study of geographical methods and skills in the senior years. They learn how to collect information from primary and secondary sources such as field observation and data collection, mapping, monitoring, remote sensing, case studies and reports. Fieldwork, in all its various forms, is central to such inquiries as it enables students to develop their understanding of the world through direct experience.
Geography units offered are:
Natural and Ecological Hazards
Natural and ecological hazards represent potential sources of harm to human life, health, income and property, and may affect elements of the biophysical, managed and constructed elements of environments. This unit focuses on identifying risks and managing those risks to eliminate or minimise harm to people and the environment
This unit examines the economic, social and environmental sustainability of places. While all places are subject to changes produced by economic, demographic, social, political and environmental processes, the outcomes of these processes vary depending on local responses and adaptations. This unit includes an overview of places and the challenges faced by cities in the developed and developing world. The unit also includes two depth studies: one focusing on challenges faced by a place in Australia, and one focusing on challenges faced by a megacity in a developing country.
This unit focuses on the changing biophysical cover of the earth’s surface, its impact on global climate and biodiversity, and the creation of anthropogenic biomes. In doing so, it examines the processes causing change in the earth’s land cover. These processes may include: deforestation, the expansion and intensification of agriculture, rangeland modification, land and soil degradation, irrigation, land drainage, land reclamation, urban expansion and mining. This unit includes an overview of land cover change and two depth studies: one focusing on the interrelationship between land cover and either global climate change or biodiversity loss, and one focusing on a program designed to address land cover change.
This unit focuses on the process of international integration (globalisation) as a conceptual ‘lens’ through which to investigate issues in human geography. In doing so, it integrates the sub disciplines of economic and cultural geography, and political geography. Economic geography involves study of the changing location, distribution and spatial organisation of economic activities across the world, while cultural geography focuses on the patterns and interactions of human culture, both material and non-material. Both sub disciplines make an important contribution to our understanding of the human organisation of space. Political geography examines the spatial consequences of power at all scales from the personal to global. This unit includes an overview of international integration (globalisation) and a choice of depth studies: one focusing on economic integration, and one focusing on international cultural integration.
Global Studies is the study of political, economic, social and cultural relationships of the world. The course content encourages global perspective and provides students with the background to study other cultures in relation to their own, including concepts of identity and belonging. This interdisciplinary course explores global issues, global communities, global challenges and change.
The Global Studies course teaches students to think critically about key global issues and to develop an understanding of international politics, global economic forces, intercultural relationships, international cooperation, and global citizenship. Students with an understanding of the concepts explored in the course will be well placed to better negotiate the world in which they live, study and work.
Globalisation, technological change, environmental, social, economic and political pressures present new and exciting opportunities for Australia and Australians to engage meaningfully with other nations and people.
The underlying narrative of this course is to help students, as global citizens, to articulate concepts of personal responsibility, and to equip them to navigate, function in, and contribute effectively – in new and creative ways – to a dynamic and complex world. Global Studies encourages students to become reflective, informed and active citizens.
The new Global Studies course complements the proliferation of interdisciplinary courses in prominent universities in Australia and around the world.
Global Studies units offered are:
Australia: Our Democracy, Your Choice
This unit will enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding of Australia’s democratic political system. Students will examine the formation of the democratic political system in Australia. They will reflect on their role and responsibilities in a democratic system.
This unit explores the institutions, organisations and agencies that exercise power and influence across the world. Students will explore the motives for action and inaction, and the major causes of division and alliance.
This unit ideally consolidates knowledge and skills acquired in the foundation units of the course. Students examine current global issues and hypothesise possible solutions, and communicate their ideas to others. The design and delivery of this unit places a strong emphasis on collaboration and authentic learning. Extra-curricular activities including community activism are suggested components of the unit, as part of action based research.
Peace & Conflict
This unit explores the causes of conflict and its effect on peace. Students will analyse the variables that shape peace and conflict. Teachers will select from the following content, depending on the interests and composition of the class, and topics previously covered.
Legal Studies (A, T)
Legal Studies explores the law, and its institutions and processes, in a social, economic and political context allowing students to investigate, question, and evaluate their personal view of the world and society’s collective future.
Students develop their knowledge and understanding about how Australian and world legal systems impact on the lives of citizens, seek to balance the rights and responsibilities of individuals, the community, and governments, to achieve justice and equality for all. Students will evaluate the effectiveness of laws, institutions and processes, and consider opportunities for reform.
Legal Studies provides students with the opportunity to develop their skills in research, analysis and evaluation of information. Using logical and coherent arguments, students will explore the implications and consequences of decisions made by individuals, organisations and governments.
Legal Studies units offered are:
Unit 1: Crime, Justice and the Legal System
This unit aims to increase students’ awareness of the complexity and limitations of the criminal justice system in achieving justice. Using a range of contemporary examples, students investigate criminal law, processes and institutions and the tension between community interests and individual rights and freedoms.
Unit 2: Civil Law and Resolution of disputes
This unit aims to increase students’ awareness of the rights and responsibilities that exists between individuals, groups and organisations and the resolution of civil disputes through courts and other mechanisms. Using a range of contemporary examples, students investigate civil law, processes and institutions, and develop an appreciation of the role of civil law in society
Unit 3: Law, Government and Society
In this unit students, will investigate the significance of legal rights and responsibilities in everyday life from different political, economic and social perspectives. Using a range of contemporary examples, students investigate how the law attempts to balance the rights and responsibilities of the individual with the best interests of the wider community
Unit 4: International Relations and the law
In this unit students, will investigate the significance of Australia’s international legal and political responsibilities from different political, economic and social perspectives. Using a range of contemporary examples, students investigate how the law attempts to balance the rights of individual states with their responsibilities in the wider global community.
Unit 5: Negotiated study
Investigation of contemporary legal issues which can be an extension of previously studied topics. It can cover electives not previously studied or maybe from the broader field of legal studies.
Modern History (T, A)
Through the study of History students will develop a range of skills and an understanding of the changing nature of human experience over time. They will acquire a perspective that gives them a clearer insight into many of the issues facing the modern world. This course is designed for those students with a general interest in History as well as those who wish to develop an understanding of world affairs and improve their research, writing and communication skills. Such skill development is an asset for students continuing to tertiary studies in Law, Economics, History, Journalism and related areas.
The Australian Curriculum units below are designed for study at both ‘T’ and ‘A’ level. Students studying the ‘T’ level course will be expected to cover the content in greater depth and display greater sophistication in their skill development.
Modern History units offered are:
Understanding the Modern World
This unit investigates key developments that have helped define the modern world: their causes, the different experiences of individuals and groups and their short and long-term consequences. Students will encounter ideas that both inspired and emerged from these developments and their significance for the contemporary world. The French Revolution and the Russian Revolution will be focus topics in this unit.
Movements for Change in the 20th century
This unit examines significant movements, developed in response to the ideas studied in Unit 1 that brought about change in the modern world and that have been subject to political debate. The unit focuses on the ways in which individuals, groups and institutions have challenged authority and transform society. The Women’s movement and The Civil rights movement in the USA will be focus topics in this unit.
Modern Nations in the 20th century
This unit helps students understand the characteristics of modern nations, the internal divisions and external threats that they encountered, and the different experiences of individuals and groups within those states. It will allow students to understand the significance of the changes experienced by modern nations and the different paths of development they have taken. Germany (1918-1945) and Japan (1931-1967) will be focus topics in this unit.
The Modern World since 1945
This unit focuses on the distinctive features of the modern world that emerged in the period 1945-2010. It aims to build students’ understanding of the contemporary world – that is, why we are here now. The Changing World Order will be the focus topic in this unit.
Psychology is the study of the human mind and behaviour. Students develop an understanding of themselves and others by exploring the interactions between the individuals and groups as well as the roles of biological and environmental factors.
Students develop skills which promote higher-order thinking and apply evidence-based research for understanding and interpreting human behaviour. Students develop analytical and critical thinking skills and learn to question and challenge assumptions about human behaviour. They develop skills to communicate effectively and present logical and coherent arguments.
The study of Psychology enables learners to understand how individuals think, feel and act within different contexts. Such knowledge has the potential to empower and enhance individual abilities and facilitate awareness of the human condition, along with tolerance and respect for others.
Students develop their knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and perspectives to explain cognition and behaviour. They analyse the nature and purpose of psychology and develop insights into types of behaviour across a range of contexts.
The study of Psychology provides continuity with many tertiary and industry courses.
Psychology units offered:
Unit 1: Individual Differences
This unit examines individual differences in human cognition and behaviour. Students explore the assumptions, applications and limitations of psychological research and literature related to individual differences. Through their studies, students explore the nature of the individual and how these differences relate to society. The key conceptual understandings covered in this unit are: differences in mental abilities and intelligence, personality, development, learning and motivation.
Unit 2: Into the mind
This unit examines the biological basis of human cognition and behaviour. Students examine at least two electives for the semester to explain how individuals respond to the environment as an outcome of biological influences and interactions. Students explore the assumptions, applications and limitations of psychological research and literature related to the biological basis of behaviour. Through their studies, students explore how heredity, environmental and biological factors influence behaviour. The key conceptual understandings covered in this unit are: sensation and perception, consciousness, memory, emotion and neuroscience.
Unit 3: Psychology of wellness
This unit examines the factors that influence physical and mental wellbeing. Students examine at least two electives for the semester to explain how health can be positively and negatively affected by biological and environmental influences and interactions. Students explore the assumptions, applications and limitations of psychological research and literature related to the psychology of wellness. Through their studies, students explore how heredity, environmental and biological factors influence physical and mental wellbeing. The key conceptual understandings covered in this unit are: positive psychology, mental health, stress, resilience and coping and human relationships.
Unit 4: Psychology in Society
This unit examines the role of psychology in society. Students examine at least two electives for the semester to explain how humans think act and feel in a social setting. Students explore the assumptions, applications and limitations of psychological research and literature related to psychology in society. Through their studies, students explore how individual perceptions and interaction influence social relationships. The key conceptual understandings covered in this unit are: attitudes, prejudice, forensic psychology, human relationships, organisational psychology and social influences.
Sociology (T, A)
Sociology is the study of how individuals and groups think, feel, and behave. Students develop an understanding of themselves and others by exploring the roles and interactions between individuals and society.
Students develop their knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and perspectives to explain behaviour. They analyse the nature and purpose of Sociology and develop insights into types of behaviour across a range of contexts in society.
Students develop skills which promote objective thinking and apply evidence-based research for understanding and interpreting human behaviour. Students develop analytical and critical thinking skills and learn to question and challenge assumptions about human behaviour. They develop skills to communicate effectively and present logical and coherent arguments.
This course enables students to understand how individuals function within different contexts. Such knowledge has the potential to empower and enhance individual abilities and facilitate awareness of the human condition, along with tolerance and respect for others.
The study of Sociology provides continuity with many tertiary and industry courses.
Sociology units offered:
Unit 1: Identity
Students study the ways people define themselves and their relationships with others. The electives in this unit provide students with opportunities to study the myriad ways that society classifies and categorizes people at an individual and small group level, and how individuals can be constrained and empowered through their identification with such labels.
Unit 2: Sociology of Social Justice
Students study social issues that lend themselves to activism and debate: issues of equality, justice and fairness on a social scale. The electives in this unit provide students with opportunities to explore all sides of these issues, to develop the skills and acquire the information to make informed decisions about issues that affect them.
Unit 3: Cultural Icons
Students study all levels of culture: the ideas, institutions and practices that define the ways we communicate and interact with each other. The electives in this unit provide students with opportunities to study the ways that ideas shape social life, from mass communication to everyday recreation activities.
Unit 4: Power and Institutions
Students study the superstructure of society: the social institutions and systems that determine the structure of society on a macro level, and in turn influence life on a micro level. The electives in this unit provide students with opportunities to study the ‘big picture’ of society, and explore the ways in which their lives are shaped by forces outside of their control.
Tourism and Event Management (T, A)
The tourism, event management and hospitality industry contributes significantly to the Australian economy and employs individuals on a casual, part-time and full-time basis. This industry is committed to training, ongoing improvements and new challenges.
This course allows students to gain an understanding and appreciation of the workplace culture of the tourism and hospitality industry and engage in examining and evaluating the impact of social, cultural and environmental issues facing the industry. Through the theoretical and practical components of this course, students are provided with opportunities to develop skills, concepts, processes and attitudes crucial to making valid decisions typical for tourism and hospitality industry. (regarding hospitality and tourism issues.)
Tourism and Event Management units offered:
Unit 1: Tourism and Event Management
This unit introduces students to the tourism industry in Australia and students will develop their tourism and event management skills.
Unit 2: Global Tourism
This unit introduces students to global tourism and students will examine and evaluate global tourism operations.
Unit 3: Working in Tourism
This unit introduces students to working in the tourism industry and students develop their skills for working in tourism applications.
Unit 4: Tourism and Event Promotion
This unit introduces students to tourism and events. Students develop their skills in tourism and event applications.