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Major: Society and Culture

Award(s) to which this major is a Qualifying Major:

Society and Culture


Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies
Faculty of Arts

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 8 units of study including the following prescribed units:

Units of study

Living Culture (1)
Seeing Culture: Politics of Visual Representation (1)

Cultural Contexts: Communities and Cultures in Action (1)
Racialised Punishment and the Construction of Nation (1)
Screening (Ab)normal Bodies (1)
Genre Writing (1)

Narrative Journalism (1)
Visual Countercultures: Graffiti, Kitsch and Conceptual Art (1)


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Overview and Aims of the Program The Society and Culture program is the study of the ways in which we represent ourselves to each other. We represent our culture and ourselves through the food we eat, the films we produce and watch, the books we write and read, through political documents, TV, media, art, music, dance, language, urban environments and architecture, and so on, the list is endless. The Society and Culture program particularly focuses on exploring political, ethical and social relations and their consequences in everyday cultural practice. The program provides students with a broad and accessible theoretical base from which to then engage with, and apply, historical and contemporary debates.

Students will build a strong suite of research and evaluation skills to enable to them to consider ethical, logistical, social and environmental issues including cultural practices, visual and textual analysis and construction, nationhood, identity, embodied practice and gender relations. The Society and Culture program encourages students to develop effective communication, ethical and analytical skills, which enable the ongoing examination of the world around them.
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:

Knowledge and Understanding:

1. Identify and recall disciplinary knowledge of cultural studies and appropriate related disciplines (K, L, C).

2. Recognise and evaluate historical and contemporary power relationships in everyday cultural contexts (K, T, P, L).

3. Analyse the social, cultural, political and ethical issues and debates in cultural studies (K, T, E, A).

Skills and Capabilities:

4. Communicate and evaluate problems and disciplinary debates through discipline specific frameworks (K, C, J).

5. Prepare and research independently so as to develop ways to apply course concepts to everyday practices (P, I, C, J, K).

6. Synthesize critical theories and apply them to appropriate local and international cultural practices (K, L, I, E, A).


7. Apply theoretical frameworks to cultural works and practices (K, T, L).

8. Demonstrate an awareness of broader consequences of cultural theories, legislation and engagement (K, P, L, C, A).
Learning and Teaching Methods The Society and Culture OUA major utilizes a range of learning and teaching methods while also ensuring university commitments to flexibility, equity and diversity are upheld. Unit level outcomes are constructively aligned with the program level outcomes and graduate capabilities, and are designed to be as inclusive as possible so as to cater to the extremely diverse student body engaged with OUA.

The Society and Culture OUA major employs a range of learning and teaching methods through which student meet learning outcomes:

1. Lectures: Primary lecture materials are provided in written format that is easily accessible, downloadable and readable, allowing for students with a range of access abilities and learning contexts to engage. Support for these is also provided by readings and targeted personal and general online discussion facilities, allowing students to engage the lecture materials online at any point during the semester.
2. Tutorials: Tutorials are provided weekly via the main announcement section of iLearn, with content released regularly but periodically to ensure that current debates, issues and questions can be addressed regularly. The dynamic nature of this release of content also provides a complementary space for the written lectures, allowing theory to be illuminated with real world case studies as they are happening.
3. Teaching materials: The Society and Culture OUA major uses a range of teaching materials to support and direct student learning. These may include
a. Lectures (written and supplemented with online peer and student engagement).
b. Traditional written readings and audiovisual examples.
c. Audiovisual material (case studies, art works and other primary evidence)
d. Curated external critical pieces such as the inclusion of TED talks, etc.
e. Interactive tutorial exercises and discussion forums
f. External and supplementary evaluation and writing help including resources like Smart Thinking

4. Program Structure: The Society and Culture OUA major is designed to facilitate lower and higher order learning outcomes in its trajectory from 100 through to 300 level study, as well as through its association with equivalent and complementary units from other university partners in the OUA program beyond Macquarie. Additionally, disciplinary knowledge and literacy is developed through the program’s progression from 100 to 300 level study.

Support for Learning:

The Society and Culture OUA major is delivered by staff who have published widely in cultural studies and related areas. In addition to this, staff are also aware of the context of online learning environments which often attract a diverse student cohort with a variety of levels of experience and discipline backgrounds. Cultural Studies OUA staff also include creative practitioners and cultural commentators, ensuring that content remains current and broad reaching.

The range of expertise held by the staff ensures that students learn current and relevant theories and techniques underpinned by a strong appreciation of cultural histories. In addition to this, students also have access to academic advisors to counsel them in choosing units, academic progress, workflow and time management, and career paths. Staff work closely with Campus Well Being to ensure that students receive support in their personal as well as academic pursuits.

Program Standards and Quality:
There are a number of standards and quality assurances measures in place. Each unit within the program undergoes mandatory evaluation, including the regular updating of course content and readings, as well as changes to layout and delivery style in response to informal and formal student feedback. Informal feedback via general discussion boards is welcome throughout each semester and addressed by tutors and the course convenor regularly (including reporting back to Head of Department and Centre for Open Education, Macquarie), while Learner Evaluation of Unit surveys are also regularly used to provide formal feedback on curriculum and assessment design. During each semester tutors and convenors engage in a process of marking moderation to ensure consistency of grading, and rubrics are used (and distributed to students, upon request) to ensure this. Unit guides are quality assured and compliant with university policy and best practices in learning and teaching, specifying the learning outcomes, graduate capabilities and specific expectations of each assessment. Written feedback is also provided regularly and in a timely manner (as close as possible to within two weeks of submission, and one week prior to the next piece of assessment), so as to allow students to ask further questions and progress.
Assessment The Society and Culture OUA major utilises a range of assessment tasks, including the following:
1) Written analysis task of given materials
2) Interactive engagement with online tools including quizzes, forums and forms of peer review
3) Written essay task for given question or question developed in consultation with tutor/peers
4) Written response to student-nominated stimuli using course-specific methods of analysis
5) Written development of major work in consultation with course materials and appropriate broader cultural resources.

The program includes both formative and summative assessment. Many assessment tasks such as the interactive engagement with online tools and peer review are designed to help the students to develop and familiarise themselves with ideas and skills. Others, such as the development of major works, are designed to assess that the student can implement key program learning outcomes, such as the ability to analyse social, cultural, political issues and debates Cultural Studies.
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.

Information can be found at:

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 Society and Culture studies graduates have options within a range of types of industries and employers. Their strong research and analysis skills means they are particularly suited to government and other regulatory roles, while their ability to synthesise and apply a range of knowledge and targeted information also makes them suited for private sector work. Students strong social and ethical awareness also makes them suitable for work in areas relating to policy, community engagement and outreach, as well as public communications.
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

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2019 Unit Information

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