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 Social Science - 3420

Program Summary

Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Undergraduate
Typical Duration: 3 Years
Typical UOC Per Session: 24
Min UOC Per Session: 3
Max UOC Per Session: 24
Min UOC For Award: 144
Bachelor of Social Science (Combined Honours)
Bachelor of Social Science (Honours)
Bachelor of Social Science (Major)

Program Description

The Bachelor of Social Science degree combines a core program of study in social science, policy analysis and research methods with a major in a particular social science discipline.

Program Objectives and Learning Outcomes

The Bachelor of Social Science core program aims to provide students with skills in undertaking social research, particularly in an applied policy setting. These include written communication skills with particular emphasis on reports, submissions, position papers and proposals; the ability to undertake research and data analysis, both quantitative and qualitative; analysis and critical evaluation of research, arguments and policies; and the use of computers in social research and information processing.

The major study aims to equip students with a knowledge base in one of the social sciences.

Program Structure

The basic requirements for the degree are:

1. a total of 144 units of credit.

2. 48 units of credit in the core courses of the BSocSc degree program, each of which carries 6 units of credit:

First Year
and one of the following:

Second Year

Third Year
The Social Science and Policy core program satisfies the University's requirement for 56 hours of study relating to the purposes and consequences of university education, professional and ethical action, and social responsibility.

3. a major sequence (List F) in one of the following:
  • AUST Australian Studies
  • COMD Development Studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • ECON Economics/Economic History
  • FILM/PFST/THFI/THST Film and Theatre
  • GEOH/GEOS Geography and Geology
  • HIST History
  • HPSC History and Philosophy of Science
  • IBUS International Business
  • IROB Industrial Relations/Human Resource Management
  • PECO Political Economy
  • PHIL Philosophy
  • POLS Politics and International Relations
  • PSYC Psychology
  • SOCA Sociology and Anthropology
  • SPAN Spanish and Latin American Studies (History Stream)
  • WOMS Women's and Gender Studies
Students who major in Film and Theatre must also complete a sequence of 24 units of credit in a discipline listed in 3. above.

A major sequence is an approved progression of courses in a school or program: you will find details under the relevant entry.

4. 48 units of credit obtained in Level 1 (first year) courses, including the two core courses, the first year courses of your major sequence and two other electives.

5. during their second and third years of study, students are also required to complete courses from the University's General Education program carrying the equivalent of 12 units of credit. These courses are part of the requirements for the degree and do not incur an additional HECS or fee obligation.

How to Choose Your First Year Program
Enrol in the core courses SLSP1001 and either SLSP1000 or SLSP1002 (see 2. above); then choose one area from the list in point 3. which you would like to major in, and enrol in the appropriate first year (Level 1) courses. Then select additional courses to make up a total of 48 units of credit. 24 Level 1 units of credit must be selected from courses offered by the Faculty.

Upper Level and Honours Entry
In second and third year, enrol in the prescribed core courses (see 2. above) and the necessary courses for your major sequence. The additional units of credit should be taken either in the area you chose as a possible second major or in other Upper Level courses. You must also enrol in the prescribed courses from the University's General Education program. Try to spread your workload evenly over the four sessions of study.

In addition, students who intend to apply for entry to the Honours year should enrol in SLSP3911 in their third year of study.

Sample Program

Sample Program Structure - Bachelor of Social Science

General Education Requirements

Students are also required to complete 12 units of credit from the University's General Education program, normally during their second and third years of study. For further information, please refer to "General Education" in the Table of Contents (see left-hand side of the page).

Academic Rules

Pass Degree

To qualify for the award of the degree at Pass level, a student must obtain, normally over three years of study, a minimum of 144 units of credit in approved courses including:

1. the core program (48 units) in SLSP Social Science and Policy;

2. a major sequence from List F below;

3. a total of 48 Level 1 units of credit, including no more than 12 in any one sequence of study, from Lists A, B and C of the BA Rules;

4. at least 24 Level 1 units of credit, including 12 in SLSP, from Lists A and B of the BA Rules;

5. 12 units of credit from the General Education program, normally taken in the second and third year of study

List F
AUST Australian Studies, COMD Development Studies, ECON Economics/Economic History, Environmental Studies, GEOH/GEOS Geography and Geology, HIST History, HPSC History and Philosophy of Science, IBUS International Business, IROB Human Resource Management/Industrial Relations, PECO Political Economy, PHIL Philosophy, POLS Politics and International Relations, PSYC Psychology, SOCA Sociology and Anthropology, SPAN Spanish and Latin American Studies (history stream), FILM/PFST/THFI/THST Film and Theatre, WOMS Women's and Gender Studies.

Students who major in Film and Theatre must complete at least 24 units of credit in other sequences from List F.

6. The Pass degree of Bachelor of Social Science may be awarded with Distinction where a candidate has achieved a weighted average mark (WAM) of at least 75% in all courses completed since enrolment at UNSW which are credited towards the degree.

Honours Degree

To qualify for the award of the degree at Honours level in one or two Schools/specialisations, a student must:

7. have obtained 144 units of credit in accordance with 1.-5. above and satisfied the appropriate prerequisites for entry to the Honours level program;

8. obtain a further 48 units of credit in an approved Honours program.

The Honours degree is awarded in three classes (Class 1, Class 2 in two Divisions and Class 3). Students who fail to obtain one of these classes may proceed to graduate with the Pass degree.


For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following web-page:

Area(s) of Specialisation

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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.