Home' The Good Universities Guide : The Good Universities Guide 2014 Contents HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES 159
(1) Courses are available at just about every campus in the
country, but even courses with the same name differ a
great deal from one campus to another in terms of their
focus and the specialisations offered. This can even be
the case within the same university, so browse carefully.
(2) There is much choice within as well as between courses,
so you don’t stop making decisions on enrolment day.
(3) Once enrolled, you will probably have a lot of spare time.
It can be easy to forget why you’re there.
(4) The loss of contact with practical learning and
responsibility doesn’t work for some students.
(5) If you think you might do postgraduate research,
universities with established research track records are
usually the best.
This is also a field where it is highly beneficial to complete an
internship or international exchange to broaden and apply your
skills, which will prove useful when it comes time to look for a job.
Many courses offer part-time options, and quite a few will
accommodate distance education students. Most have modest
cut-offs and plenty of room for mature age and other special
To compare entry difficulty and the cost of Commonwealth
Supported Places (CSPs) at different institutions, see ‘What’s on
offer and who’s there’. Note that while public universities only
offer CSPs, private higher education providers may offer full-fee
places in this field.
The introduction of the Australian Curriculum has seen history
being taught as a stand-alone subject up to Year 10 in every
school across the country, while the second phase follows on with
an emphasis on geography and the arts. It is hoped that this will
have a flow-on effect, with more students continuing the study of
the humanities into university. The federal government’s 2013
Australia in the Asian Century White Paper has encouraged
Australians to embrace their ties within the Asia-Pacific region,
with calls for universities to increase courses in areas such as
Asian cultural studies and provide greater opportunities for
student exchange across the region.
Amid some educators’ concerns that the more vocational
‘creative industries’ will impact on enrolment and course numbers
in the humanities and social sciences, measures are being taken
to emphasise the value of the generalist humanities degrees. For
example, in an effort to give students a more well-rounded
education, a number of universities have introduced internship
components; final-year capstone subjects to reinforce the
knowledge learned over the course of the degree; concurrent
language diplomas; and breadth subjects.
A university model similar to some overseas systems has the
potential to become more common in the field. It involves a
generalist undergraduate system (including, of course,
humanities and social sciences), followed by more specific
professional graduate programs to prepare students for specific
What’s on offer and who’s there
over 25 yrs
For an explanation of abbreviations, see page 587
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