Course Title: Introduction to Australian Society

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Introduction to Australian Society

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Dr Julian CH Lee

Course Coordinator Phone: 9925 3440

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 37 Level 5

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course introduces you to key features of contemporary Australian society and cultural life, examining how the present is shaped by Australia’s distinctive history and by global trends. Little familiarity with Australian society is assumed, so this course is ideal for students new to Australia, such as international and exchange students, and local students from disciplines outside the social sciences.

In this course you will engage in both on-campus workshops and off-campus experiential learning, visiting sites of cultural and social significance. You will be introduced to the scholarly literature related to Australian society and the course will also use media resources, popular culture and experiential learning to reflect on key social issues and to examine a particular community group.

The course deals with a wide range of social issues, and you will have considerable scope to focus on questions of interest to you. Some of the key features of Australian society we will examine include multiculturalism, urban-rural distinctions, the political system and philosophies, inequality and exclusion, patterns of cultural consumption, and international linkages.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Draw on both scholarly literature and popular media texts to describe key social characteristics of contemporary Australia
  • Synthesise information from a range of sources, including first-hand observation and discussion, to portray the distinctive features of a particular social group
  • Analyse a significant social issue related to you discipline, reflecting on the ways in which Australia’s experience is shaped by its distinctive historical context and by global trends

Overview of Learning Activities

On-campus learning activities will consist of interactive workshops during most weeks of the semester. These will combine group-based discussion and problem solving tasks with a lecture presentation and extensive use of Australian media resource.

This course also involves off-campus activities, including visits to cultural institutions and sites of community activity, some of which will be led by teaching staff while others will be undertaken independently in small groups.

In order to develop your knowledge and skills, you will be expected to participate in interactive discussions and activities. The workshops offer a supportive learning environment where you will have the opportunity to share your knowledge and experiences, and to learn from the knowledge and experience your peers. This peer-based learning may take place through small-group discussions, collaborative work on activities and assessments and/or peer reviewing of research, written work and/or oral presentations.

Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources and materials, including specific course related readings, will be made available to you in class and online (which can be accessed via MyRMIT studies). You will also be required to find additional resources, which may include academic journal articles, newspapers and electronic media. This course does not require a prescribed textbook.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes. Assessment may include a presentation, an essay on a contemporary social issue, a reflective journal and in-class assessment. Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning. You will be able to develop your work in relation to your own major field of study. Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.