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Bachelor of Social Science


Faculty of Arts
Bachelor of Social Science (BSocSc)
English Language Proficiency:
IELTS of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each band, or equivalent
Study Mode:
Full-time, Part-time
Attendance Mode:
Candidature Length:
Full-time: 3 years
North Ryde — Session 1 (February)
North Ryde — Session 2 (July)
Volume of Learning:
Equivalent to 3 years
General requirements:
Minimum number of credit points for the degree 72
Minimum number of credit points at 200 level or above 42
Minimum number of credit points at 300 level or above 21
Completion of a Qualifying Major for the Bachelor of Social Science
Completion of a designated People unit
Completion of a designated Planet unit
Completion of a designated PACE unit
Completion of other specific minimum requirements as set out below
Students must complete one designated People unit and one designated Planet unit. Those units must be taken in two different Faculties. Any unit which is listed below or as part of the student's qualifying major(s) will not satisfy the People unit requirement or Planet unit requirement.

In order to graduate students must ensure that they have satisfied all of the general requirements of the award.

Specific minimum requirements:

Credit points

100 level

Introduction to Social Science (3)

200 level

Methods of Social Research (3)
Survey Research in the Social Sciences (3)
Evaluation in the Social Sciences (3)
Qualitative Inquiry in the Social Sciences (3)

300 level

Advanced Social Research Methods (3)
Evaluation and Applied Social Science (3)
Internships in Social Research (6)
Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Units marked with a P are PACE units.

Qualifying Majors
Program Learning Outcomes and Additional Information
AQF Level Level 7 Bachelor Degree
CRICOS Code 027337G
Overview and Aims of the Program The Bachelor of Social Science is for those interested in the way our social worlds are constructed and want to make a difference in how society looks after itself and others. The social sciences recognise that our everyday experiences and interactions are contingent on complex interrelationships involving people, places and technologies. They provide us with a range of theoretical and practical tools to help us understand human society and contemporary social problems. In this degree, you will gain skills in social research and applied social science that help to make sense of culturally diverse social environments in a changing world. You will also be able to choose between more than 15 majors that are offered across the university, with plenty of room for electives or a minor. And, you will undertake a internship doing hands on social science work in a government, non-government or private sector organisation, giving graduates a head start in the job market. This degree will give students the skills for careers in a wide variety of jobs in government, the community sector, private consultancy, policy-related work, program evaluation, research of all kinds and advocacy.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. examine theoretical and methodological linkages between a chosen specialty and social science (K, T)
2. understand key social science concepts, methods and analysis, including those related to both qualitative and quantitative approaches (K, T)
3. incorporate knowledge of both a chosen specialty and multidisciplinary social science methodologies when designing and undertaking independent practical work (P, I)

4. examine and critically analyse research questions and methodologies employed in the social sciences (K, T)
5. investigate the links between research design and results derived in social science research (P)
6. critically analyse both qualitative and quantitative data using software packages that are widely used in the social sciences (P)
7. develop social research questions and design appropriate methodologies to explore responses to them, including a justification for their selection (C, J)
8. explain key research problems, research methodologies and theoretical approaches using a range of written formats that are typically directed at different audiences (C, I)

9. develop appropriate research questions and methodologies for both evaluation research and applied social research (J)
10. evaluate the myriad of ethical issues that can arise in social science research and understand strategies that might reduce the risks for research participants, researchers and organisations (E)
11. analyse complex information about social problems, methodologies and social theory in applied settings, such as program evaluation (P, T, J)
12. practice ethical social research and engage in ethical workplace conduct during the research internship (J, E, A)
13. approach social science reflexively, incorporating learnings from personal and professional experiences into the practice of social research (L, E, J, T).
Learning and Teaching Methods You will have opportunities during this Bachelor program to acquire and apply social science knowledge and practical skills through a series of activities. You will be encouraged to build on and integrate your understandings of social science concepts, methods and research methodologies. You will be required to communicate and apply this knowledge in a range of written formats relevant to research and vocational practice, as well as in discussions with your fellow students and university teachers (see Assessments for more information). The program is designed to promote continuous independent learning, with tasks building successively on your knowledge and skills.

Tasks undertaken for this program will require you to critically engage with information in a variety of forms from multiple sources. You will acquire skills in collating and reflecting on information sourced from at least some of the following: course readings; academic journal articles; books; social research; online databases; research reports; online sources; policy documents; media articles; and, the world wide web. You will also engage with research design, including qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches to social research. And, you will be encouraged to reflect critically on ethical practices in both academic research and program evaluation through each stage of a project, from developing a research question to constructing an appropriate methodology to analysing data to publishing results.

Class sessions for this program typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, and workshops. These sessions will offer you the opportunity to engage with academic experts from multiple social science disciplines, visiting experts and research partners, as well as your peers. You will be expected to communicate both your understanding of program materials and their potential applications in each session. Where relevant, you are also expected to prepare for each session by undertaking set readings and practical activities.

Notably, the internship organised by the university presents an important opportunity for you to gain valuable on-the-job experience before graduation. Organised via Macquarie University’s Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) initiative, this internship presents you with an opportunity to work on an independent or team-based research project in the field. It may entail a placement with research organisations, including government agencies, non-government organisations, research centres, and universities. As well as helping you to prepare for the world of work, this internship presents you with a chance to critically reflect on and apply both knowledge and skills acquired over the program.
Assessment Assessment in this Bachelor program takes the form of coursework that will allow you to acquire skills, methods and knowledge of relevance to the social sciences. This coursework will involve the content and assessment tasks set in core social science units, the units comprising qualifying majors, and elective units. Unit guides for each coursework unit contain a clear outline of assessment standards and criteria, including what is to be assessed and how this will be done. In this program, your assessments will take a variety of forms, typically including: academic essays; planning tools; critical reflections; literature reviews; research proposals; and/or research reports.

Coursework is designed to build on your communicative, personal and professional capabilities. The core social science units will give you the opportunity to consider applications of a wide range of methods and analytic tools that are used to collect, assess and communicate information from multiple sources. You will also be encouraged to engage with qualitative and quantitative approaches relevant to disciplinary and cross-disciplinary research in the social sciences. This program culminates in a professional internship, in which you will apply social science skills during on-the-job practical experience. Internships are organised with a wide range of research organisations, such as government agencies, non-government organisations, research centres, and universities.

The program will offer you formative and summative feedback. Formative feedback is provided to students as an assessment is being undertaken, while summative feedback is provided after completion of an assessment. These kinds of feedback both aim to assist you in developing key capabilities relevant to social science practice. Feedback provided may involve written commentary from, or oral discussions with, teaching staff, internship supervisors, and peers. Feedback from internship supervisors will focus on vocational skills, including self-management, communication skills, and organisational skills.

The program generally involves a series of major assessments along the way to assist you in developing your skills, methods and knowledge. Early on, you will develop a degree plan encourages to organise your study by selecting one of the qualifying majors and reflecting on how it relates to social science. As you progress through the program, two assessments will require you to exhibit your knowledge and skills of social research practice and data analysis. One assessment is a research proposal, which gives you the opportunity to engage with the principles of research design. The second assessment is a research report, which provides an opportunity to engage with data analysis procedures. And, typically toward the end of the program, you will participate in a professional internship that will provide practical experience and feedback from one of our research partners.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability This degree will give students the skills for careers in a wide variety of jobs in government, the community sector, private consultancy, policy-related work, program evaluation, research of all kinds and advocacy.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Accreditation This is an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) accredited qualification.

The Bachelor of Laws program is accredited by the LPAB (Legal Practice Admission Board) of NSW.

The Macquarie Bachelor of Laws is accredited with professional bodies regulating the admission of law graduates to legal practice and provides appropriate q.

2017 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148