Siren Watcher CV Education Southern Cross University

Bachelor of Arts Diploma of Arts

Course Description:

Immerse yourself in studying issues and concepts that you really care about. The Bachelor of Arts will expand your horizons and challenge your preconceptions. It will empower you to investigate, create, critique, and celebrate the many achievements, ideas and values of our human world and the human condition.

This is a degree that enables critical thinking, community engagement and creative practices in a course that you can tailor to suit your interests and career goals. You can choose to focus narrowly on a single area or choose a broad program, selecting from a diverse range of majors and minors that span communication and politics, creative arts, secondary teaching areas, vocationally-oriented majors such as tourism or psychology or even science.

Regardless of the subjects you choose, the Bachelor of Arts fosters transferable skills valued by employers – including communication, analysis, critical thinking and problem solving. Graduates also develop cultural awareness and a deeper understanding of how to build their creative capacities.

The majors available in humanities and social sciences provide an overview of the humanities (or study of the human condition) and the study of human society and social relationships which contribute to the advancement of human understanding. These majors include:

  • Australian Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • English
  • History
  • Indigenous Studies
  • International Studies
  • Politics
  • Society and Culture
  • Human Geography.

Communication and Cultural Studies enables students to connect their everyday life, personal, community and vocational interests to the broader issues and challenges of the 21st century. It equips students with a combination of critical and creative thinking skills and abilities. Cultural studies offers an inter-disciplinary approach to the study of culture, communication and society through textual analysis, cultural theory, media analysis and understanding how meaning is made through power, identity and place. Cultural studies empower diversity, social inclusion and ethical and innovative scholarship that guides and informs how we live, work and learn.

Course Outcome:

Intellectual rigour

Apply critical analysis, reasoning and reflexivity to social and cultural situations and problems.

Demonstrate the ability to develop a persuasive independent argument incorporating a range of perspectives and evidence.


Develop innovative and creative responses to contemporary and historical social, environmental and cultural issues.

Ethical practice

Investigate and evaluate issues with reference to principles of social justice and equity and according to ethical conventions.

Demonstrate understanding of cross-sector and cross-cultural differences in ethics and morality.

Knowledge of a discipline

Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of society and culture in chosen disciplines of study.

Apply disciplinary knowledge to diverse contexts.

Lifelong learning

Access, interpret and evaluate information to inform decision-making and action.

Communication and social skills

Communicate effectively in a variety of forms, including in working autonomously or collaboratively.

Cultural competence

Demonstrate a commitment to multicultural perspectives.

Develop awareness of knowledge and skills needed to engage in a culturally competent way with Indigenous peoples.

Completed Units:

Introduces students to active practices of reading and writing, different forms of writing and critical reading strategies that will enable them to analyse and critique meanings in the written word. Reading and writing skills are introduced with a particular emphasis on critical thinking and essay writing as forms of academic practice.

Unit Outcome:
  • Read and critically analyse a range of texts.
  • Search, retrieve and evaluate scholarly material.
  • Construct a coherent argument in essay form.
  • Write and reference competently in scholarly work.
  • Understand the importance of academic integrity.
  • Understand the value of writing as communication.

Introduces students to a critical analysis of media practices and uses in everyday life. From social networking to watching telly, from political campaigning to going to the movies; particular consideration is given to how we engage with media, and what impact it has on our perceptions of ourselves and the world around us. Students are encouraged to fashion their assignments around their own media interests and uses, thus making it clear that their studies are not something remote from their daily lives.

Unit Outcome:
  • Develop a critical perspective.
  • Apply a range of theoretical approaches to the study of media.
  • Comprehend key concepts such as representation, power and identity.
  • Research and study independently.
  • Analyse media texts and messages, and recognise their own role, as both audiences and practitioners, in negotiating meanings.
  • Write in an academic style.
  • Understand media texts and practices in their historical and socio-political contexts.

Introduces students to the ways in which media industries, production processes and ways of communicating interact internationally. Students study global events and confrontations, news and foreign correspondents, sports and press freedom in various media and regions of the world.

Unit Outcome:
  • Describe and interpret the relationships between media and the economic, social, political and cultural transformations taking place around the world.
  • Identify the operations of the major global media networks in particular political, economic and cultural contexts.
  • Apply key concepts related to the globalisation of media industries and cultures to specific media texts.
  • Identify and interpret dominant cultural codes operating in the global context.
  • Describe and discuss the key concepts of globalisation, development communication, censorship, conflict media and nationalism.
  • Utilise research skills of media monitoring, library and online searches and literature analysis.

Introduces students to a critical understanding of the theory and practices of using digital communication techniques and processes to produce web-based convergent media productions. Students acquire skills in Web site design, construction and publishing with a focus on developing standards compliant online media content.

Unit Outcome:
  • Describe current digital communication technologies and production processes.
  • Use the Internet and the World Wide Web and associated software for research and publishing.
  • Discuss and apply foundational skills in online publishing, including the ability to create a website.
  • Develop a capacity for self-learning of computer and web design skills in an online environment.
  • Critically analyse and discuss social, cultural, legal and ethical contexts of web authoring and publishing.

This unit uses a range of popular culture forms such as TV shows, films, literature, advertising and contemporary music. Students will study media and genre as well as advertising, music video, Disney and Pixar animation, kinder culture, and popular mainstream literature, and film, as well as interpretations of Shakespeare live performance, in order to examine how identities and ideologies are constructed and disseminated in society today. It will also explore the cult of celebrity, the role of genre and the power popular culture has to both uphold and challenge the status quo.

Unit Outcome:
  • Identify different genres within popular culture and the constructedness of these.
  • Debate the significance of diverse popular cultural forms and their reception within the broad mediasphere.
  • Analyse the socio-historical development of the media and popular culture.
  • Examine the relationship between a variety of media (TV shows, films, animation, music, brands and advertising etc.) and analyse the impact of media upon the individual and global culture, in particular, the way different forms of media have changed patterns of consumption.
  • Reflect upon the socio-cultural impact of popular culture as a form of communication technology.
  • Analyse the relationships between media, popular culture, cultural transformations and psychosocial and politico-economic processes.

Provides students with foundational knowledges in the role that narrative plays in building communities, social histories, individual subjectivities and information networks. Enables students to identify the way narrative influences social practices and subjectivities. Prepares students for an active engagement in narrative practices within a broad social context.

Unit Outcome:
  • Identify the connections between narrative and identity.
  • Recognise the transdisciplinary nature of narrative studies.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the role narrative plays in our daily lives.
  • Reflect critically on the nature of narrative and the power of storytelling.
  • Analyse the nature of narrative and identify a range of narrative strategies along with their contribution to socio/political dynamics.

Introduces students to skills in critical thinking and analysis through engaging with ideas and debates relevant to everyday digital devices and networked culture. Students will identify and critically engage with debates in the media and understand their philosophical, social and cultural contexts.

Unit Outcome:
  • Critically analyse everyday digital practices with reference to relevant ideas and debates.
  • Relate issues and debates in digital practices to their philosophical, social and cultural contexts.
  • Critically engage with issues in the media relevant to everyday digital practices.
  • Clearly and concisely articulate different critical positions and arguments in writing.
  • Engage in constructive discussion about issues and debates relating to digital practices.

Introduces students to key ideas and discussions in philosophy through applying cultural analysis in the study of film and television. Students will identify and critically engage with philosophical debates in contemporary contexts and the media.

Unit Outcome:
  • Critically analyse everyday digital practices with reference to relevant ideas and debates.
  • Relate issues and debates in digital practices to their philosophical, social and cultural contexts.
  • Critically engage with issues in the media relevant to everyday digital practices.
  • Clearly and concisely articulate different critical positions and arguments in writing.
  • Engage in constructive discussion about issues and debates relating to digital practices.

Introduces students to contemporary work around the formation and governance of subjects and citizens as they are articulated in time and place, in institutions and discourses of public and everyday life. Dominant discourses and structures that govern people’s subjectivity, identity and public life will be explored. This unit aims to address notions of active citizenship through mapping the relations between discourses and operations of power, including questions of selfhood and agency.

Unit Outcome:
  • Demonstrate the importance of a historical perspective on citizenship.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of contemporary theories of citizenship and the relevance of those theories in relation to systems of power/knowledge.
  • Recognise conflicts generated by issues of political subjection and the reciprocal obligations of the state.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of some of the ways in which citizenship is negotiated on an international, national, local, group and personal level.
  • Recognise the intersections between gender, sexuality, class, race, ability and ethnic identity in cultural practices inscribed within an institutional setting.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the intersection between different forms of truth and the context in which they are articulated.

Introduces students to narratives of identity and location and their relation to ideas about space, place and memory in the context of cultural geography. Consideration will be given to how the coordinates of identity and belonging are mapped out across space and place. By undertaking a localized application of this imaginative and theoretical work with field trips, students will address their own landscape of belonging and their sense of place.

Unit Outcome:
  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of contemporary sociocultural theories of space and place.
  • Comprehend the multiple interpretations of the meaning and significance of social space.
  • Recognise the importance of identity and subjectivity through the everyday experience of space, place and culture.
  • Contextualise and analyse the historical and cultural formation of urban and non urban spaces.
  • Demonstrate and communicate an awareness of the political, social and cultural dimensions of the practices of belonging and travel.

Aims to introduce students to theories addressing the interactions of nature and culture. Primarily the subject proposes to engage in environmental and ecological issues and discourses from the perspective of cultural studies. Students will explore the relationship between the human and non-human in respect to their socio-cultural and activist implications.

Unit Outcome:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of an ecocultural approach to contemporary theory and culture.
  • Apply ecocultural principles to an analysis of specific cultural texts.
  • Interrogate approaches to culture in which considerations of nature are absent.
  • Recognise some of the differences in the relation between nature and culture among different cultural and social groups within Australia.
  • Critique a range of approaches to ‘nature’ with relevant theoretical, activist, ethical and practical insights.
  • Demonstrate a deeper analysis and consideration of localised practices in the context of these insights.

Introduces students to the relationship between gender, sexuality and culture. It adopts a cultural studies approach to understanding the debates and issues surrounding gender and sexuality through a focus on identity, socio-legal contexts, media, place, culture and power.

Unit Outcome:
  • Relate key issues and debates in gender and sexuality to their social and cultural contexts in contemporary society.
  • Critically evaluate how gender and sexuality are constructed in culture, society and the media.
  • Clearly and coherently articulate the impact of gender and sexuality on the life worlds of individuals and society.
  • Engage in constructive oral and written discussion that has a cultural studies approach.
  • Critically analyse different socio-legal, political and cultural viewpoints and arguments on a particular topic related to gender and sexuality.

Introduces students to contemporary Cultural Studies. Students examine the value of knowledge and its relationship to cultural and everyday contexts. Through specific engagements with social, political and cultural understandings of identity, the unit focuses on power, place and ethics. Students are equipped with the necessary tools to critically engage in the complex world of the twenty first century.

Unit Outcome:
  • Express an understanding of culture in the Australian context.
  • Identify key concepts and theories as crucial tools in a critical understanding of identity.
  • Articulate the relation between cultural theory and the contexts in which it is produced (in relation to time and place).
  • Critically intervene in a specific context or site of everyday practice.
  • Analyse a range of texts and practices with attention to their cultural meaning.
  • Appreciate the responsibility of research as active intervention in contemporary society.

Introduces students to the principles, objectives and methods of social research. Develops practical skills in reviewing literature, constructing research questions and writing up research for publication. Students practice reading published research and analysing and interpreting qualitative and quantitative data. They will conduct a small piece of research of their own design.

Unit Outcome:
  • Identify an author’s research question, primary methods and key findings in published research articles.
  • Compose a research question.
  • Construct a well-integrated literature review.
  • Construct valid interview questions.
  • Code data thematically and categorically.
  • Explain the use of tables and graphs.
  • Write a research article.

Introduces students to Australia, Asia and the World through a study of the historical, cultural, social and political implications of Australia in a globally interconnected world. By developing their contextual awareness and cultural competency, students orient themselves as citizens of the world.

Unit Outcome:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relevance of cultural competence through critical self-reflection and an appreciation of diverse cultural values and perspectives.
  • Contextualise historical forces involving ‘Asia’ and the world that shape contemporary Australian society and culture.
  • Evaluate core issues and themes regarding the interconnections between Australia, Asia and the world.
  • Critically evaluate the media in relation to Australia and Asia.
  • Understand the significance of national and cultural identity.

Increases awareness of Aboriginal and other Indigenous peoples’ beliefs, understandings, histories, ways of living and social commitments whilst raising understanding of matters relevant to a shared Australian history and valued future for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Unit Outcome:
  • Demonstrate an appreciation for the complexity of Indigenous Australian world-views, philosophies and lore/law, including traditional and contemporary cultural practices.
  • Develop understanding of the foundations of cultural safety and a basis for a cultural competency framework within an Indigenous Australian context.
  • Describe Indigenous Australian notions of wellbeing, ways of being in the world and Indigenous knowledge systems.

Introduces four central areas of psychological interest: biological bases of behaviour; the nature of consciousness; learning; and stress, coping and health. The unit focuses on the influence of biological processes and experience in the regulation of individual behaviour. This unit lays the foundation for Introduction to Psychology II, which is focused on the social milieu.

Unit Outcome:
  • Express an understanding of material presented through self-managed reading, active listening, note-taking and enquiry.
  • Engage with previously published literature and communicate analysis through critical writing.
  • Identify key figures, experiments and models of behaviour from the history of the discipline.