Course Title: Social and Cultural Dimensions of Science and Technology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Social and Cultural Dimensions of Science and Technology

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban & Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Course Coordinator: Dr Lisa Harris

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9959

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

The course will provide introductory studies into the relationship between social and cultural context and developments in scientific enquiry and technological innovation. The course will apply different theories on this relationship, in examining both historical examples and contemporary issues related to the social and cultural processes associated with scientific and technological activities. Specific case studies might be drawn from the development manufacturing technologies, domestic technologies, climate change, and childbirth.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. outline different explanations of the relationship between social and cultural context, and priorities in scientific investigation and technological innovation;
  2. explain how social and cultural processes can shape the ways in which benefits of scientific advance are distributed, and influence the ways in which certain technologies become dominant, at the expense of others;
  3. explain how social divisions related to gender and class are manifest in particular instances of scientific work and technological change;
  4. explain how their own professional application of science and technology is influenced by social and cultural processes.

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities in this course will be problem-based, supplemented by a range of literary and multimedia resources. Students will be encouraged to draw on their own experience and other studies in providing examples for investigation. Students will be expected to work in groups on a particular case study of a scientific or technological initiative.

Overview of Learning Resources

A mix of literary and multimedia resources available through the University Library and from various industrial settings will be important in assisting students’ learning in this course.

Overview of Assessment

Student learning will be assessed through a mix of structured (individual and group, written and oral) opportunities to demonstrate that the capabilities have been achieved. A detailed outline of assessment requirements will be provided in the Part B Course Guide, published before the commencement of the semester in which the course is to be taught. There will be opportunities throughout the course to clarify and discuss assessment tasks with the teaching staff.