Enhance your degree through the arts and social sciences

Postgraduate electives

Are you passionate about politics? Interested in exploring history and how this informs today’s societies and cultures? Concerned about whether globalisation has been for the better or worse? Looking to better understand the Australian economy and how this is influenced by global and political factors? Wanting to understand how popular media is used to produce and represent masculinity and femininity? Intrigued by how the most famous stories of blood, sex and political intrigue in the Western literary tradition are found in Biblical books? Need to develop your written and verbal communication skills?

You can learn all of these things, plus much more, through the extensive range of electives now offered by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Whether you are already studying arts or social sciences, of undertaking a degree with the flexibility to allow you to take units of study outside of your host faculty, we invite you to explore our exciting suite of electives.

Below is a small list of just some of the many electives available. However, there are many more units of study available and you can find out more about these units by visiting the online Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences’ 2017 Postgraduate Handbook

Important dates and information

Some units of study have prerequisites or prohibitions, or require approval from your host faculty – please check the requirements of your degree in detail and the handbook for full details on all units of study before enrolling.

Postgraduate electives

Unit of study


ECON5006 - Economics of Law and Public Policy This unit of study introduces tools to study the impact of laws and public policy on individual behaviours. We will critically evaluate empirical research produced by economists, sociologists, criminologists, and legal scholars. Topics will focus on criminal justice policy but will also cover other areas of law such as labour and social policy.
ECON5026 - Strategic Business Relationships A firm's success depends on both its internal and external strategic relationships. This unit of study analyses how a firm can manage these relationships. We examine agency problems within the firm, outlining ways that firms try to mitigate these issues. Strategic relationships with input suppliers examined. We discuss how firms can establish a strong bargaining position in these relationships. The optimal boundaries of the firm are also analysed. We also study how a firm's product-market strategy affects its relationship with its rivals in the output market.
USSC6903 - US Foreign and National Security Policy  This unit gives students a detailed overview of the processes of US foreign policy and national security decision-making. It also considers a range of contemporary foreign policy challenges, such as terrorism, military intervention, the use of intelligence, diplomatic engagement and negotiation, international law and multilateral engagement, and the use of public diplomacy.
DVST6904 - Rethinking Poverty Poverty reduction has always been a central development goal. Major international programs such as the UN's Millennium Goals place poverty at their centre. New explanatory concepts such as social exclusion, capability, social capital and sustainability have considerably expanded our thinking about its nature. Students will examine cases from many parts of the world of the way discourses, policies and development practices operate together, enabling an evaluation of contemporary approaches to poverty and their effects on those most vulnerable.
ECOP6108 - Economic Management for Sustainability This unit introduces students to environmental economic theory, ecological economics, and other critical perspectives in order to develop an understanding of the parameters that define management of economy-environment interactions. Students will develop a critical appreciation of the systemic nature of the pressures imposed on environmental/ecological systems and the intractable problems this presents. The unit examines the different tendencies that inform environmental management and sustainable development; and the relative merits/weaknesses of the strategies and policies advanced.
GOVT6164 - The Dual Use Dilemma and Research Policy Some science and technology can be used for both benefit and harm. This interdisciplinary unit critically examines the security and policy implications of dual use research and related technologies across several important fields, ranging from nuclear and information technology to the life sciences. Students will consider the costs and benefits of specific developments in science and technology, as well as the various mechanisms that governments and civil society can use to mitigate the risks that new knowledge or tools will be used for nefarious purposes.
SCLG6916 - Indigenous Rights - Global Issues This unit will provide students with an appreciation of the Indigenous peoples' struggle for Indigenous rights through an understanding of international, regional and national processes relevant to this struggle. Students will not only learn about Indigenous peoples histories in relation to colonisation and state building and the relevance of the nation-state and governments to the struggle for Indigenous rights but also the significance of international law, globalisation and economic development to Indigenous peoples struggle for Indigenous rights.
CISS6022 - Cybersecurity The digital revolution has created new frontiers of information that influence almost every aspect of our lives. But does cyberspace also threaten our security? What are the methods and motives for attack? And how can state and non-state actors respond? Drawing on a unique combination of expertise from the Centre for International Security Studies and the School of Information Technologies, this unit introduces students to the technical and political concepts that are necessary to answer these important questions.
PACS6914 - Conflict-Resolving Media This unit examines media representations of conflict and their influence on the behaviour of those involved. It introduces creative ways for journalists, media development workers and media activists to apply principles of conflict resolution. Students diagnose 'war journalism' and 'peace journalism', and analyse conflict in a journalism context. Theories of news and concepts of objectivity and responsibility are critically explored. Students gain practical skills in peace journalism and media activism as well as devising peace journalism interventions in conflict-affected areas.
ARHT5909 - Death and Disease in Renaissance Art This unit explores the interplay between art and disease in Renaissance Italy. Issues to be investigated include: the religious and psychological effects of catastrophic disease, such as the Black Death, and the possible effects on art; images of death and disease before and after the plague; the prophylactic role of images; Renaissance conceptions of the workings of the celestial court; civic, corporate, familial and individual patronage of plague images.
CISS6018 - Nuclear Arms Control and Non-proliferation This unit introduces students to the basic knowledge of the issues, challenges, and policies related to nuclear arms control and non-proliferation. The principal objective is to give students a better understanding of the politics of arms control and non-proliferation and help them develop the analytical skills for undertaking policy-relevant research and the ability to develop policy recommendations. The unit is also designed to examine proliferation problems and the ways that arms control can contribute to national and regional security.
ENGL6114 - Language and Subject This course explores twentieth century attempts to understand the relation of language and linguistic meaning to the individual subject. We will consider two traditions: a 'naturalistic' approach centred around Chomsky's 'generative enterprise', and the phenomenological/hermeneutic tradition in Merleau-Ponty and Gadamer. Students will familiarize themselves with various putatively scientific attempts to understand the place of language in the world and will explore some general features of the relation between meaning and experience. No prior acquaintance with these fields is assumed.
LNGS7274 - Media Discourse "Sexy, healthy and 100% Australian-owned!" This unit examines linguistic approaches to media discourse. The language of news texts and television series will form a special focus of the unit, along with how images are used to construe meaning. We will explore general aspects of media institutions (news and television), the ways in which social identities are constructed in the media, differences between the language of various types of media texts, the rhetoric of persuasion and the discourses of popular culture.
MHST6913 - Indigenous Museums and Heritage Globally, Indigenous peoples have challenged museums, heritage agencies and professional practitioners over issues of ownership, control, management, display and interpretation of Indigenous culture, history and cultural property. We will examine how Indigenous communities, scholars and practitioners are decolonising museum and heritage practices and spaces.