School of Social Sciences

Anthropology and Sociology

Further information


Anthropology and Sociology is the study of the nature of humanity along with the complexities of social relationships, and offers a way of understanding the whole context of human experiences. It incorporates the study of cultures, institutions, social behaviours, economies and systems of meaning, and includes the topics of religions, politics, kinship, gender, education, health, migration, landscapes and the media.

Anthropology is the study of humanity and human behavior. It is the only discipline that offers a conceptual scheme for the whole context of human experiences. It provides a broad framework into which many other subjects can be fitted.

Social Anthropology is the comparative study of the institutions, social behaviours, and systems of meaning of all human societies. It is concerned with describing how any given society organizes its relations to the environment, its economy, social interaction and groupings, structures of political authority, gender roles, religion, and all other aspects of its culture. As social scientists, Anthropologists formulate general theories about human social behavior and cultural understanding usually based on the intimate study of highly localized phenomena in contemporary and historical contexts. This is known broadly as ethnography.

Sociology, which has much in common with Social Anthropology, is the systematic study of human social relationships, with an emphasis on group behaviour and social structure, especially in industrial societies. The academic staff in our Discipline group focuses on qualitative, ethnographic sociology. 


Within our undergraduate programs students are able to study a broad range of units.

Students who wish to pursue Anthropology and Sociology at a higher level are able to apply to take Honours. For more general information on taking Honours within the School of Social Sciences, please click here.

We have a large number of students undertaking research programs for a Postgraduate qualification.


Our four main areas of research interest are:

  • Australian society
  • Indigenous Australia
  • Asia-Pacific region
  • Europe and North America


What Does Anthropology and Sociology major teach that can be useful outside of University? 

  • Insights into current problems worldwide: the carbon tax, religious conflict, asylum seeking, money and financial crisis 
  • Preparation for careers in Corporations, Nonprofit organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and local, state and national government agencies, policy and advocacy concerned with social welfare, legal matters, drug abuse, physical and mental health, environmental impact, housing, education, foreign aid and agricultural development.
  • Employment providing advice on indigenous issues in Australia and overseas by mining industries, legal services and a variety of community organizations.
  • Enhancement of skills used in business studies, strategic planning, decision-making, industrial relations, organizational management, all increasingly important elements of work in the corporate world. 
  • Provides the tools for intercultural communication, social science consulting, and international business.